I hope this finds you well on this cold, icy November day!
How blessed we are to have warm places to give us shelter when conditions outside are such as they are. I think of animals who live outdoors day and night. Our spoiled, indoor cat tried to sneak outside when I opened the door this morning but quickly thought better of the idea!
Cattle, I notice, often stand closer to each other when it gets so cold. We do that too sometimes when our hearts have been broken. I think of the Kausen family. “Sometimes all we can do is huddle together like cattle in a storm.”
I grew up in cattle country. Cattle were kept where they were supposed to be with fences, It would take a lot of fencing! I understand that there are places where cattle ranches are so large, building fences is not practical. So the ranchers use another technique. They drill a well. They figure the cattle will not stray too far from the well. If they do they will die.
Churches sometimes build fences. They establish clear boundaries so we can know who is in and who is out. The goal is to bring more people in. I wonder if we have that wrong. Jesus Christ is the life-giving well. There is no “in” or “out”. Our purpose is to bring people closer to that well.
Jesus didn’t say, “Build a church and bring people into it.” Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples.”
It’s a cold world out there for a lot of people, and I’m not talking about the outside temperature. There is a warmth in this church, and I’m not talking about our thermostat setting. But people aren’t likely to step out of the cold and come into the warmth unless we go, reach out to them, and invite them in. People aren’t likely to try to “jump our fence” unless we open our gate and assure them that all are welcome to drink from the life-giving well that is Jesus.