In the late 1940’s the United States Government commissioned the creation of the S.S. United States as a troop carrier ship. By 1952 it was finished and could travel at 44 knots (aprox. 90 kilometres/hour). She could travel nearly 17,000 kilometres without refuelling and could carry 15,000 troops. She was never used for the purpose it was created for! She became a luxury cruise ship.
Here in Holy Week we recall the Suffering Servant. Jesus took the towel and washed the dirt off his betrayer’s feet. He took the cross to wash away the grime of sin on the human heart. This Servant King invites us, no commands us, to follow Him. He calls us aboard a troop ship as servants like Him. He sends us out with the words “As the Father sends me so I send you.”
We have much to repent of, as we have turned the Church into a cruise ship for the few while there remains a hurting world outside our gangway. We have changed the ‘go’ of the gospel into a ‘come and get it’. Instead of leading simple trooper lives we choose rather the life of western extravagance which makes us indistinguishable from the society we are called to serve.
We have turned prayer itself into something more resembling ‘room service’, than as a walkie-talkie calling for air support.
Each year we recall Jesus and His cross but do we really intend to pick up our cross and follow Him? I long for this Good Friday and this Holy week to be different. I am tired of looking at the cross and going away with little evidence of it in my life. It is a great challenge to refit the cruise ship for her original purpose and destiny but it is impossible for me to ‘refit’ my own life. “With man it is impossible but with God all things are possible.” It may seem radical (which means getting back to the roots) but I need a renovation of my heart. I need to be refitted (made fit) for service. Who knows if enough passengers become troopers again the whole ship may be changed, with God nothing is impossible!
So the simple challenge is this: Would you join me in God’s dry dock for a refit? Maybe we can have a conversation about what it looks like to move from the passengers’ lounge to trooper (servants) quarters. I look forward to any replies.