The Exit Row
Last year I shared the following with you. It was by my friend Rev. Jonas Hayes. It says something very profound about our calling as followers of Jesus.
“Are you willing and able to sit in the exit row?”
God, this is the question I want to ask —
of every parent holding a child for baptism,
of every teenage confirmand,
of every new member —
coming from another faith community
or sometimes from none —
of every would-be chaplain,
at the hospital, the prison, the college,
and, certainly, of everyone who feels called
to pastor a church.
Are you willing and able to sit in the exit row?
By which I am meaning…
Can you face your deepest fears in life,
without freezing in panic?
Do you know how, and are you strong enough
to open the door and let people out?
Will you take this whole journey
aware that you are in the rescue business?
Do you know in your heart
that the extra leg room you really wanted
and have been given
is not to give you a head start,
but just so you don’t trip other folks
when they are running for hope?
God, I thank you for this place called church,
where all the seats are next to wings,
our baggage is stowed,
and we are ready to open a door
from take-off to landing.
As we approach Easter, remember the price Jesus paid to set us free and give us hope. He did it, not to hold something over us or add guilt to our lives. He did it because He loves us with a passion we can only begin to comprehend. As we have heard the last three weeks, He has given us the “Ministry of Reconciliation” or, in other words, invited us to sit in the Exit Row. Let us go out and invite people who are “running for hope” to find it with us in the love of Jesus.
Pastor Steve Ranney