Recently Mattress Mack from Gallery Furniture lost $7 million dollars when he gave his customers the opportunity to buy furniture and bet on the Super Bowl outcome. A few years ago I lost my signature unibrow and had to bleach my hair blond when I challenged our students to raise over $1000 in order to buy nets for our mission trip to Uganda.
This morning I read an article about a pastor, Zack Zehnder, from The Cross Mount Dora church in Mount Dora, Florida who was preaching a sermon on acceptance and how the Church’s reputation is at an all time low because of our hypocrisy and judgmental attitude toward non-believers. In a flippant and off the cuff remark Pastor Zack told his congregation that he would pay for anyone who was willing to get The Cross Mount Dora’s cross logo tattooed on their body. Shortly after the service 12 members of the congregation took the pastor at his word and got themselves new tattoos. Thankfully Pastor Zack is a man of his word and paid for all 12 tattoos commenting that he hoped these members would use the tattoos to flip the script and start conversations about church and religion with people who might never engage with Christians otherwise.
This story reminds me about God and how He too flipped the script in order to engage with us. Scripture says that while we were still sinners Christ died for our sins. When Jesus met Peter, he asked him to leave his nets and following Him, in exchange Jesus would transform Peter from an ordinary fisherman into a fisher of men.
I think for these 12 folks at The Cross Mount Dora church getting a tattoo is an expression of Luke 9:23 when Jesus challenged us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him. It may be a tattoo, it may be getting your hair dyed, it may be leaving your family back in South Africa to follow Jesus, it may be much more, but what are you willing to do to live each day more and more for the sake of the Gospel?