I’ve been on a few cruises, and each time (apart from my wife’s sea sickness), I’ve had a great time. And here’s why:
By definition the “luxury liners” are just that..luxurious. They are giant Mall/Cinema/Resort/Casino/Entertainment Complexes that seem to move slowly through the water in an effort to not rock the boat too much thus, angering the patrons. Because..it’s all about the folks on vacation! The passengers want a smooth, comfortable, hedonistic, self-indulgent ride through the open seas where they can sleep in, lounge around the pool, eat at the half dozen buffets, let others serve them, play some party games or venture out on a “safe” shore excursion, and watch an “American Idol rejects” Broadway-type show. The point is to relax, enjoy and be entertained. Welcome aboard!
However, there’s another vessel out on the open seas..the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard, who’s motto is Semper Paratus (Always Ready!), has an entirely different approach to daily maritime activity. The Coast Guard rarely coasts through the water, they are generally speeding to rescue someone who is in danger. Their boats are typically smaller and faster in order to quickly get to people who are in harm’s way. Because..it’s all about the folks who need help! The “passengers” are trained and “always ready” to respond to the call of duty, they are often put in uncomfortable positions for the sake of others, they are selfless and ready to sacrifice, even die, to save others! There’s no time for fancy lunches or a fun-time swim. There are no safe excursions. There are no shows. The Coast Guard has a specific purpose on the seas..and it is to rescue as many people as possible.
How often does Church turn into a luxury liner? With our comforts..our smooth sailing approach..our church league sports..our worship shows..our safe religion..
How often does it simply become about us?
oh..and please don’t rock the boat……
From what I read in the New Testament..the Church, much like the Coast Guard, was more about rescuing those who were in peril..being ready to act..uncomfortable..and willing to sacrifice it all to save others..I mean, I’m pretty sure the first “passengers” (the disciples) were all killed as they spread the gospel in their rescue efforts..
Please don’t hear me wrong. I believe it’s normal to go on vacation. However, it is not normal to live on vacation. And in my estimation, the Church is NOT the vacation destination.
What boat do you want to be on?
One that caters to you..or one that rescues those who are in need?
“Save us from our comforts..
break us of our need for the familiar..
spare us any joy that’s not of You..
and we will worship You”
also see Tim Schraeder’s blog post today about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and “religionless Christianity”
What are your comments on the Church, Carnival Cruise Lines, and the Coast Guard?