“For the Son of Man came to seek and save that which is lost.” (Luke 19:10)

We flew out like a swarm of hungry bats at feeding time the second the school bell rang. The three o’clock hour had finally arrived, bringing with it a sense of sheer excitement and welcome relief. Not one minute had wasted before our small feet scampered outside the woven steel that secured the school grounds. As per usual, the flag monitor had already assumed his place at the pole. He always was an oddball, but his behavior seemed especially odd on this particular day.

red_flag“Flag boy” thought to amuse his schoolmates by draping the rope around his neck. That goofy expression on his face, I’ll never forget it. We each snickered at the sight, then quickly turned our heads. What kind of morbid prank was he playing? A make-believe hanging failed to amuse any of us kids. Rather than stop and stare, we darted home without a care.

Though Flag Boy failed to arouse attention from among his half-pint peers, the daily paper made mention of him the following morning. It was no joke. He had hung himself in the schoolyard for all to see. I can’t even begin to guess how many passed him by, without a clue or a care. No one took Flag Boy seriously. We failed to see the tragedy taking place right before our very eyes. By the time we did, it was too late.

This is not one of my fondest childhood memories, but it does illustrate an important lesson for those God calls by name. You see, there are many whom death has called by name. They are dead in sin, according to Scripture. How does this cold reality affect the Christian community? Do our hearts grieve? Is there weeping for the lost? Or have we become oblivious? Have we become like clueless children that can’t make sense of a small boy dangling from a rope?

As we sojourn in a world of dying souls, we have become largely desensitized to the horror of it. We are surrounded by the walking dead, so to speak, and seem to be at total peace with their sad state. There is no sense of urgency, or worries, or thought, or inkling to slip the noose off anyone’s neck. We have the answer, but we’ve made it our own private business. Worse yet, some have made it their business to judge the dying. This ought not be so.

We have been called, precious people. Jesus has enlisted each of us to participate in His rescue mission. He seeks to save the world. He has appointed you and me as His heralds, to proclaim a message designed to wake the dead. It’s true. There is hope for the dying. There is resurrecting power in Christ Jesus. He is more than willing to free any soul from any noose, shackle or chain. How can this be? It’s simple. He loves the world! All He asks is that we’d do the same.

It’s not too late, my friend. Not yet anyway. One day it will be, though. The red flag is already  raised.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

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