The Voice Over

A voice-over is a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative—is used in a some type of presentation.  [See Wikipedia.]

Earlier this week, I posted about two different voices I heard Sunday night.  In the post, I wrote about the importance of relying on God’s Voice and about listening to positive voices in our lives.  While I stand on The Voice that reminds me that I matter, I keep going back to the first voice.  If you recall, this was a voice of someone telling me I wasn’t needed.  I haven’t been dwelling on his words.  But I have been thinking about him.  In fact, thoughts have been running through my head like a voice-over as I rehash this experience.

As the girl in our youth group was getting baptized, I watched this man from the corner of my eye as he observed the service.  He did not appear to be a participant but more of an outsider looking in.

Sure the baptism service was an opportunity for believers to celebrate the decision of someone to follow Christ.  And it was a chance for the young girl to publicly state that Jesus is the leader and forgiver of her life.  But the service was also a reminder to me that there are others out there who are still lost.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.  Luke 19:10

Christ came for the owner of the first voice that I heard on Sunday.  Obviously, I don’t know the true condition of his heart, but I can presume that he wasn’t on the same page spiritually as many of those in the room.

The cool thing is that he felt comfortable coming into our church.  There are many churches out there.  Many of them say they want to reach out to the lost, but lots of churches fail when it comes to showing Christ’s love in a way that attracts, convinces, and accepts the lost.  In fact, many churches won’t let “outsiders” in to hang out – divorcees, adulterers, homosexuals, and thieves.  This isn’t meant to discourage churches from speaking the truth.  It’s more of a challenge to consider how we can have an impact on the lost of this world.  After all, we’re called to flee from sin, but we’re called to love everyone – and to go into ALL the world to share God’s message of hope and love.  Christ set the example for us.  He hung out with the “outsiders”.

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  Then Jesus told them this parable:“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:1-7

Over and over again, I hear that voice from Sunday night.  Again, I don’t hear the words, but I hear the reminder – God loves the lost, and He’s calling us to hang out with the “outsiders”.  I hear the voice-over calling me to keep stretching and growing.

When have you heard voice-overs in your life that cause you to stretch?  How are you intentionally hanging out with the “outsiders”?