“If you open your bulletin, you’ll find a communication card. If you’re new to the church or have questions or would like to sign up for a class, just fill out the card and drop it in the offering plate when it’s passed around later in the service.”
He cringed. He wanted to get more involved, he really did. He wanted to be a part of the group. He would love to spread the message that he knew to be valuable, yet he couldn’t complete this simple step. He had been burned so many times in in his life. He wondered, “Does the preacher actually think there is anyone in the congregation who hasn’t been bombarded-to-death with contact after they signaled interest to Gold’s Gym, or Subway, or a Time-share, or a Credit Card?” The list goes on and on. Yet, here he was in a place that offered…well, it offered hope; and he was being asked to formally display interest yet again. How could he not feel once bitten, twice shy? He knew he couldn’t be that different than others.
The contents of the offering plate seemed to prove he wasn’t.
The challenge then: Jesus of Nazareth was different. He was surely recruiting, but he was not starting a business. And he was surely not starting an organization. The picture painted by historical critical scholarship is that the man was intimate. He didn’t pull punches. He didn’t waste time.
“Being the more difficult course of action,” he thought, “this intimacy requirement only adds to the strength of his, Jesus’, argument.”
Standing in front of a crowd and asking them to perform the same ritual they’re asked to perform countless times throughout each day should be shameful. He wondered, “Would Jesus of Nazareth have ever passed notes?”