Thursday, September 9, 2010
Pastor's Perspective - VIP Pass
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:17
On October 25th I joined 97,000 of my closest friends down in the Rose Bowl to enjoy one of my favorite bands on the planet – U2. A former church member, dear buddy, and Bono fanatic named Jeff Maclean had invited me to join him; and the opportunity to see the boys from Dublin was too intoxicating to pass up. Our seats were only seventeen rows up, directly across from the monstrous stage, in the middle of a section packed with young LA celebs. Before the concert began, Pastor Rick Warren rocked my night by stopping on our row for an unanticipated chat (a divine confirmation I’ve included in the ‘Introduction’ of the book I’m currently writing – Songs from the Pit).
About midway through the band’s exhilarating set, Jeff returned after making a pit stop upstairs, with a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin. While making his way back to our seats, a man he didn’t know stopped him and asked him if he would like a couple of VIP passes. Being a smart college boy from Florida, Jeff took .3 seconds to decide, and accepted! After high-fiving till our 40-something shoulders were dislocating, we flashed our lanyards at the field security dude, and like giddy teenagers again, watched the rest of the concert just two rows from the front of the stage, literally looking up to see the band. To cite one of the band’s songs – Magnificent.
That night as we left Pasadena, we couldn’t help but bask in what a great surprise the Lord had orchestrated for us. I believe God found great pleasure as our heavenly Father in providing two of His sons with a cool opportunity. Just being there in a record-breaking event would have been enough. But, if there is anything I’ve learned about my Father is that He is a lavishing parent with impeccable timing. In an effortless love gesture, He filled our hearts with gratitude, praise and a reminder of His reality and presence.
I love the above verse because it reminds me of that night. It reminds me that in one man, Jesus Christ, we are each offered an unmerited gift, that allows each member of humanity a VIP pass into God’s majestic eternal presence – if we’ll just believe – if we’ll just trust Him – if we’ll just take it!
Friends, I’m hungry for the day when I’ll stand before another stage - a throne – not for a band – but before the Lamb. Now that will be magnificent!