Several years ago, I had an eerie dream about a luxury cruise liner. I was a member of the crew. Standing on the deck near the bridge, you could see the passengers through the ornate glass doorways as they danced and ate to their hearts content. I watched my shipmates on the bridge as they scurried about.
Something, however, seemed strangely wrong. The talk circulating among the crew was about radio messages warning of possible icebergs. “The ship was moving dangerously fast,” one crew member remarked. The captain, partying with the passengers, wasn’t too concerned. Disaster loomed, but what could I do? I was just a member of the crew? The dream ended with a sign over the bridge naming the ship — “Titanic.”
Here is another scene. Imagine coming to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. It is supposed to be a party but nobody seems to be having any fun! A prophet named Jesus triumphantly entered town last week at the head of a parade, but just a few days ago he was executed.
Everyone is in a foul mood. Rumors are circulating that Jesus body was stolen to make it look like a resurrection. Others claim to have seen Christ alive. The debate is hot and intense. Is Jesus the Messiah? What do you say? What do you do? Who can you believe?
Here is a more modern nightmare to consider. Violent crime is at an all-time high. Drug and alcohol abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, teenage suicides and violence of every kind loom like icebergs directly in the path of common decency. Morality and ethics are discarded in our eager pursuit of success and pleasure.
Three tragic dramas unfold before you. Here is the question: Are you merely a helpless spectator watching to see what happens next or is there another choice?
Paul laid out our responsibilities very clearly in a letter to Timothy, “I solemnly urge you: Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:1-2)
· Don’t watch the Titanic go down. Help someone to a lifeboat. Comfort the frightened. Be a witness to the fact that God is with us even in tragedy.
· Don’t watch Jesus’ disciples as they enthusiastically tell the crowds, “Jesus is alive!” Join them as a witness to the Good News.
· Don’t complain about our modern day lack of morality. Become a witness to our society that clearly says, “Christ is alive and offers us another way to live!”
Before Holy Week and Easter fade into history remember this critical message. God never asked us to be spectators. We are called to preach, be persistent, be willing to gently correct if necessary and most of all encourage others with good teaching.
Take a moment to think about what you’ve read. Take out a piece of paper and write down ways to improve your witness within the community. Are there organizations or projects where you can volunteer? Is there a neighbor who could use a kind word or thoughtful deed? Do you know a teenager in need of comfort?
Your willingness to be a witness may not save the “Titanic” but with God’s guidance you could help someone to a lifeboat.
Well, what are you waiting for: the movie?!