To the older generations of faithful followers of Jesus Christ
I’m sorry for my flippant tongue and my brash, unsteady hands.
I’m sorry that I acted like I owned the house you inherited,
The house that you, by the grace of God maintained, sustained, defended.
I’m sorry that my sophomoric arrogance led me to believe
Your best days were bygone and You were well-suited for forced retirement.
I’m sorry that I mocked your evangelistic strategy, calling it “outdated”and “culturally irrelevant.”
I’m sorry I laughed at the thought of activities like passing out tracts,
Somehow convincing myself that retweeting to my followers every word from
Mark Driscoll’s mouth was a totally revolutionary way to spread the gospel.
I’m sorry that I called your faith “cold, dead religion” because in my estimation it moved too slowly;
Forgive me for not seeing it for what it is, an oak whose imperceptible growth over years
Has silently put down anchorous roots, such that the forces of Hell itself couldn’t move them.
I’m not sorry about the drums, but I am sorry I was such a jerk about them.
I’m sorry I cried foul when the church wasn’t meeting my needs; you didn’t.
You were too busy meeting the needs of the church to find time to complain.
I’m sorry that while you sacrificed and lived simply,
My generation has been so drunk on American consumerism
That we’ve saddled ourselves with debts that deprive us of the joy of returning to God all that’s HIS.
I’m sorry that I treat church like a Chinese buffet,
Quite certain that if the cashew chicken starts getting old, I’ve got plenty of other options.
I’m sorry that I mistook your steadfastness for stubbornness
And gave impassioned, self-righteous speeches about you being a roadblock in the church,
Then went home to binge on Call of Duty rather than the Great Commission.
I’m sorry that at the age when you knew the contents of the Bible, I was shamefully ignorant of them.
I’m sorry that at the age you’d become adults, I was still a boy.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t see the fact that my job is to receive and pass a baton, not beat someone with it.
I’m sorry that I’ve seen myself as penultimate, forgetting that I’m a speck,
A SPECK in the unfolding story of Christ Jesus,
And that God used YOU to bring me into that story.
So here’s what I’m going to do, you who were here long before I arrived on the scene.
I’m going to do what you did.
I’m going to sit myself down, get over my spiritual A.D.D., and love a people and a place.
I’m going to pray. No, REALLY PRAY like the older ladies I knew as a kid,
The ones whose prayer journals were so full you could mistake them for encyclopedia sets.
I’m going to plant myself somewhere until God moves me or kills me.
I’m going to stop worrying about trying to make church a cool, attractive show,
And trust that when Jesus is lifted up, HE will draw all men to himself.
I’m going to carry the baton I was faithfully handed,
Knowing full well that I may eventually hand it off to a young, smart-mouthed, know-it-all punk,
Praying with faith that even though he doesn’t “get it” yet,
By God’s grace, he will in time.