Attract or scare

Scottish Pastor John Bell published a hymn in 1987 called The Summons. The first line goes, “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?” In the second stanza, the hymn asks, “Will you risk the hostile stare, should your life attract or scare?”

“Should your life attract or scare?”

Even at his birth, Jesus Christ had the power to attract and scare. 

According to Luke, God sent angels to announce the birth of Jesus to…shepherds. Even in an agrarian economy, shepherds were at the bottom of the pecking order. But the shepherds were immediately attracted to Jesus and went off to see Jesus for themselves.

According to Matthew, when King Herod learned about the birth of Jesus through the Magi, he was “disturbed, and all of Jerusalem with him.” In fact, Herod was so scared of Jesus that he ordered the killing of all boys age two and under.

Meanwhile, the Magi were so attracted to Jesus that they didn’t stop searching until they found him.

The outsiders got it right.

The insiders missed it.

Why would we expect it to be different today? 

No matter how loving and winsome we are, some people will get it and others won’t.  Revealing Jesus Christ to the world carries with it the risk of rejection.

What’s more, we need to commit ourselves to a process of ongoing revelation. The Magi had open minds and a star to guide them. They didn’t mind travelling a long way to a far-off country where their pagan religion would have been downright offensive.

But it was worth it to discover the truth of Jesus Christ.

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