By Cindy Koch –
If I saw you sitting in the middle of the street, playing with your toys, my heart would leap into my throat. Unaware of the danger that could overtake you from either side, you giggle contentedly without even looking up. You have your own thoughts to keep you safe, your own desires to make you happy. Focused on the little bits of entertainment that dance in front of your eyes, you don’t even know that you should be very afraid.
Because right now, this street is quiet. The sky is clear. The birds sing sweetly. Your toys smile calmly and keep you distracted from the truth. Although there may be other people around, no one seems to watch the horizon carefully. There may be others sitting in the street just like you are. It appears as if there is no reason to fear. But is getting later in the day, and the street darkens a bit more.
Everyone around knows what will happen to those in the middle of the street. From deep in the west, a rumble will certainly sound. Closer and closer, the ground trembles to prepare the way for devastation. Some never believed it would happen, some didn’t even know it was a possibility, but that doesn’t stop its prophesied path. A truck of death will appear suddenly, judging the fate of all who sit in the middle of the street. And there will be no second chance.
But here on the sidewalk are those whom God placed away from His wrath. We were dragged, kicking and screaming, to this place of safety. We were once blind and happy, but now can see. We were violently awakened to the present danger. We were mercifully saved from immanent destruction by the life and death of Another.
But now I look out at you, terrified and scared for your life. The middle of the street is no place for my beloved child. I call out to you, but you can’t hear your promise of safety: assurance in what Christ has done for you. I scream out in warning, but you ignore my crazy words: that judgement is coming near. The gifts of salvation grasp at your fingers and toes, water and bread and wine, but you wiggle in disgust to get away. I know it’s only a matter of time before the truck rumbles on the horizon on that Great and Terrible Day, and by that time it will be too late.
Just hear me out, my child, as you play in the middle of the street. You are forgiven and free even if you think you don’t need it, even if you want to ignore me. You are loved by the Father in heaven and Creator of the earth because of the work of Jesus Christ alone. These Words of life have already drawn you to safety, but you may have forgotten as you wander back into danger, away from His gifts. Listen again to what God has promised: He is coming soon.
So, just stay where you belong. Out of the street.