Remember “chain letters?”
They were an absolute scourge back in my youth. You’d be minding your own business, listening to a record when out of the blue you’d get a letter basically telling you to make ten copies and send to ten of your friends in two days… or you’ll die.
Some letters had a “religious” theme to them, others demanded you send along money. The whole thing was totally messed up, and even though I didn’t take the threats seriously, they still really bothered the heck outta me.
As I got older and familiarized myself with various religions, it surprised me that many struck that familiar “chain letter” tone. My pastor has a line that he uses frequently when he discusses the difference between the world’s faiths, he says “Most of the world’s religions are centered on what you should do for God, ours is centered on what He has done for you.”
Don’t get me wrong, as Christians we are charged to do good in this world and model our lives after Christ..but we are to do so under the umbrella of God’s love, motivated by a desire to please Him, NOT because we fear some cosmic, chain-letter style repercussion if we don’t.
No threats, just an invitation.
No need to bring or prove anything, just come as you are.