I am reading a book called ” A Deacon’s Heart” and in it it describes how we are to be bridges that connect the world to Christ. I love that vision. While in Slovakia last October I drew a picture of a cross that acted as a bridge between the world and eternity.
In this book this Deacon, who is a sign language interpreter, describes his bridge like this: ” I picture great bridges that connect God’s church and the world around it. Elders can help ignite a fire , a light to help the people see and learn about God and God’s church, and the life God wishes for us to have in and with the world. Elders can help illumine part of the path across the bridge into the world. It is the deacon who can share that same light within the church to help guide people through the Church and then, too, be the lantern bearer to walk with the people across that bridge, with God’s help, guiding them into the world to do God’s work. And, being in the world with the people, the deacon makes the return trips, showing new people the way across the bridge into the Church.”
I just love that vision of the deacon making trip after trip to show people the way across the bridge. It speaks of the beauty of love to my heart.
In this photo we see a bridge that has collapsed. We also see people on either side. How can they cross this broken bridge? They can’t unless it is repaired. Do we have bridges that need repairing? If we are to bring people into the Church-we MUST have healthy bridges!
In this picture we see a healthy bridge connecting land over water. This image shows us the beauty of the work of the bridge engineer who designed this connectional architecture. It bridges the gap and brings people together. Interestingly enough this bridge is actually called the ” Hell Gate Bridge” and it is located in Queens and it connects several islands to the mainland. It is named the Hell Bridge because of the dangerous rocks, rapid and perilous waters that are below it in the East and Harlem Rivers. Let me go back to Slovakia for a minute…while there we saw the Blue Danube and it was wide and fast moving. During the communist regime people jumped into the river to escape their captives and the river was soon filled with floating bodies. Why? They had no bridge to cross over and they unknowingly jumped to their deaths. The people thought they could escape their dismal lives by swimming against the very swift moving and strong current of the Blue Danube. It didn’t work. They perished. There was no bridge. No connection. Sadly, many lives were lost.
We need bridges that connect people to Christ. We may not be the people who ultimately bring them to Christ, however we can be a bridge over a gap. For me, the cross of Christ is the bridge over the gap. As Christians, we can enter the bridge and know that we will get across safely. We will walk over hell to reach the other side because we know what is there. What about those who don’t know what is there? How do we get them to enter the bridge? Well, we gently and lovingly take thier hand and guide them across. We may have to do this over and over again for the same person. That’s okay. God has never given up on us, and we shouldn’t give on up anyone either. God has instructed us to do this work through the Words of His Son Jesus: ” Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ( Matthew 28:20)
So, are we going to gra b a hand and gently guide the lost over the waters of hell? Or are we going to stand by and watch them drown an unmerciful death? They don’t have to die…we have to love them enough to tell them about the bridge that will connect them to a life eternal. Just like the bridge builder cared enough to build this bridge with the finest materials available, with precision and perfection…why? SO we could cross over the perilous and dangerous waters safely That is all we are doing, guiding others to safety. Who will you guide to safety today?
Make a connection! Be a bridge!
You can do it!
Remember Jesus said, ” and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
and He is!
Many blessings upon your bridge building…