Think of some things you tap. A nail with a hammer, a tree filled with rich syrup, a keg of your favorite drink; I tend to like rootbeer. Usually when we tap into an object, we unleash something really good, rich, and possibly full of flavor. This summer we chose for our youth a theme called “Untapped”. The emphasis is on what happens when we allow ourselves to be tapped, to unleash the potential God has given us.
In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus quotes a messianic passage from Isaiah 61 where says, “For the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor, he has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come”. We call it Jesus’ manifesto. Jesus’ proclamation and setting the stage to reveal himself as messiah was an incredibly bold move; particularly because it was appealing to an entirely different group of people-those who would be considered outcasts and even excluded from worship in the temple. The men Jesus chose as his disciples were not religious leaders, professionals, and trained experts; rather they represented the very population he spoke about.
As we follow Jesus, there are things that block our potential to extend ourselves fully to him, or sometimes we go unused. We become clogged up and the tap does not flow freely. As we look at stories like the Rich, Young, Ruler, or the parable of the Good Samaritan we see some of these examples. Our possessions possess us and we cannot give freely. Maybe we are too busy, concerned about our safety or feel inadequate about where we are from-all of these can block the potential to live out and express Christ’s love fully. But when we allow him to free us up, we can give so much and do so much to reveal his love to others!
Jesus as our ultimate example was tapped. When the nails pieced Jesus’ hands and feet and the thorns pierced his head, he was tapped in such a way that his blood flowed freely. He became the ultimate and final sacrifice that redeemed the world and humanity. He was the perfect example and gave us the greatest challenge.
As we extend his love to others, we have great work. Will we be consumed with our possessions, our sense of entitlement, and our safety? Or will we look beyond ourselves, our comfort, and get into the hard work of proclaiming news that is good to the poor and get deeply involved in releasing the captives and those caught in webs of oppression and brokenness. By the grace of God, I pray we will follow Jesus in the way he wanted us to follow him, not in the ways we “want” to follow him- ways that are easier, less risky, and comfortable. Are we going to remain untapped, or will we be tapped?