2005-03-21 - Saint Denis
Ephesians 1:13, "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him, with the Holy Spirit of promise."
There is a legend of Saint Denis. I don't know if it is true, but I read of it last week, and I have read of it in the past. Saint Denis was killed for being a Christian. This, in itself, is nothing unusual. Christians are killed for their faith in Christ all the time, and have been throughout history. The interesting part of the story is that, it is said, that after they cut his head off, he picked it up and walked with it for quite a distance, carrying it in his hands.
With the above story in mind, I want to use it as a metaphor to take things in a different direction. I don't know if the story is true. It seems like something that can only be a fable, but what this story teaches us is something that is not apparent without some reflection. The story goes that he walked for some distance. The book I was reading said he walked for forty leagues with his head. I honestly don't know how far forty leagues is, but that is not the point. The point is the question of which step in walking with his head was the hardest? I would submit that the first step was the hardest. I would also submit that this is true in all of life. The first step is the hardest.
Again, I would like to take this in another direction, in fact, in an evangelistic direction. I want to talk about sharing the gospel...sharing the forgiveness of Christ with another person. The first step is the hardest. The first step in addressing the need for forgiveness in Christ with another person is the hardest step to take. Once that step is taken, things become easier, because you have laid your cards on the table. Hopefully, when you have put your cards down, it has been done gently, lovingly, and in a sensitive manner. But we must speak of the forgiveness that is offered in Jesus Christ to those we care about. We must take the first step and carry our heads. It is hard to do, but as we begin to do it, it becomes easier. Each step, with each person, becomes easier to take.
There is one other thought here. The first step in coming to faith in Christ is the hardest to take. It is hard to admit we are sinners and need a savior, but if you are someone who has not yet come to faith, consider yourself a person drowning. I was a lifeguard for years and had a few rescues. There is almost nothing more helpless than a drowning person. If you need to come to Christ in faith for forgiveness of sins, then please take that step and talk to someone. The first step is always the hardest to take, but consider the preciousness of your soul. Without Christ, your soul is drowning. I plead with you to be courageous and take that first step.
Soli Deo Gloria,