This time of year is always so interesting. One day, I’m complaining about how overcast and cool it is (even needed to borrow a sweatshirt!). Just a few days later, I’m unhappy again because now it’s too sunny and too hot to sit outside. It always seems to be one extreme or the other – never somewhere in the middle – and I find myself longing for the rare “perfect” day. Perhaps “lukewarm” is the right word for that middle-ground – not to hot, not too cold – right smack in the middle. That’s the way we like it.
I think most of us long for that “middle ground” not just when it comes to weather, but in just about every aspect of our lives. Not too hot, not too cold. We have a word for it – we call it “balance.” We try our hardest to be sure that our work lives, our home lives, our recreational lives, our relaxation lives, our Christian lives (etc., etc.) all remain “in balance”. Nothing too hot, nothing too cold – always the middle ground – that’s our plumb line. And so … it’s only natural, isn’t it, that in order to keep our lives “in balance,” we function as “lukewarm” Christians. God will understand – it’s how we’re wired, after all – there are so many other demands on our time and energy – our Christian faith is only one small part of the balance we have to maintain.
Of course, that rationale makes perfect sense to us! But what do we do with the verses from Scripture that say: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth”?
It truly is a temptation to go to worship on Sunday mornings and then to pack our Christian lives away for the rest of the week. The truth is, however, that Sunday mornings, far from being the one hour per week that we should give to God, are the time when God’s church comes together to support one another, to offer God our praise and our lives once again, to gain strength and direction from the Lord, and then to go forth to be Christ’s heart and hands in the world. All day. Every day. Not as “cold” Christians, not as “lukewarm” Christians, but as people who are HOT – ON FIRE – for Christ.
I hope I remember that thought (and also that YOU remember that thought) during the hot and humid summer days ahead when we will, no doubt, hope and pray to be “lukewarm”…