At church this morning, we didn't have a sermon. Rather, we sang a lot of hymns, and a congregant recited the poem, "What If Jesus Came to Your House?"
The congregant actually
recited this poem a couple of years ago, on Easter Sunday. In my
write-up on that particular service, I was quite critical of the poem.
See my post here.
And, two years later, my thoughts about the poem itself remain the
same. But, after the service this morning, at the birthday party for
the Pastor Emeritus, I was talking with the congregant who recited the
poem, and someone else who liked the poem. While I don't care for the
poem itself, I appreciate what others get out of it.
congregant was telling me that, twenty years ago, if he knew that Jesus
was coming to his house, he would have snuck out the back door! He said
that he didn't live that godly of a life, but there were occasions when
he was more of a believer because he felt that God was protecting him
on the road. He used to be a truck driver, and he had to drive through
snow-storms in sparsely-populated areas. For him, the poem was about
getting right with the God who loves him and trying to live a good life.
else who liked the poem said that it made him ask himself what he would
do if Jesus were standing over his shoulder. That reminded me of a
story that the Pastor Emeritus told my Bible study group one time: An
old lady was pushing through people telling them to get out of the way,
and the Pastor Emeritus told her that she wasn't being particularly
nice! She turned around, saw the Pastor Emeritus, and said, "I didn't
know you were standing there!" He replied that that didn't make any
difference! She should be nice, whether he's standing there or not!
myself think that the poem is getting at something important: that we
should try to be consistent with our faith. My problem with it is that
it does not talk much about whether we treat people with kindness, but
instead focuses on what magazines we leave lying around, what friends we
have, and whether we say grace before meals. I think that Jesus would
be more concerned with the former than the latter.