Imagine this scenario: You’ve been job searching and have been contacted by an agency representing an important employer. You’ve been asked if you would be willing to fill out an online personal survey. If yes, you would be emailed a link to the survey, at which point you would be asked if you’d be willing to complete the survey, understanding that the site is on video surveillance. Your intrigue is sky high, as you haven’t yet been given the name of your potential employer. You agree to the conditions, the ‘interview’ arrives. You sign in and begin the multi-page questionnaire. It includes your permission to a background check for the highest level of security and a full medical work-up. You are asked if you would be willing to relocate. Plus dozens more probing questions, all while the camera is taping. You say yes to all the above. A week later you receive, in the mail, the job offer, still with no details. The very generous salary is outlined, as are all the extras, should you accept. You do. Several days later, you are notified by text to expect a car to pick you up at a certain day and hour. That happens as per the message. You meet the first real person in this process, whereupon you are notified that you can start immediately, but there is an initial, intense, 6-month protocol training (sans details!) before you meet your employer. At the end of this lengthy period, you discover that you are the personal assistant to a head of state! At last the secrecy, the rigorous testing, the training, all make sense. This is a heady position. A weighty position. A scrupulously watched position.
I’m reminded of the Dallas Willard quote: “. . . nothing less than joy can sustain us in the kingdom rightness that possesses us, which truly is a weighty and powerful thing to bear.” Imagine! We get chosen, in salvation, to represent the King of Kings as ambassadors to a desperately needy world! Someone has said that we may be the only Jesus some people meet. Is this not a weighty and powerful thing to bear? Our words, our actions, our attitudes, our bumper stickers, all are closely monitored by a weary and watching world, hoping (praying?) that there is some truth to all they’ve heard about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are millions, today, many around us, searching for at least one person who can show them Jesus, to exhibit mercy, to be compassionate, to listen, to show that living in Jesus is, without pretense, to live in Joy unspeakable and full of glory. They’re not needing one more naysayer, one more critic, one more cynic, one more fearmonger. The first three themes of this Advent season; hope, peace, joy, are largely sufficient for them. Until, of course, they encounter the fourth theme! May we all be instant in season and out (per 2 Timothy 4:2, NIV). PD