Bait

April 8, 2010

On my walk this morning I had to watch my step to avoid all the worms.  Tens of thousands of worms were wriggling and writhing and wrotting on the streets, driven up by last nights thunderstorm.

It reminded me of my childhood hunting for night-crawlers with my dad.  After a thunderstorm, and before a fishing trip we would head over to the local high school with cans and flashlights.  Now, this is interesting (to me at least).  We would drive past several schools, including the ones my brothers, sisters and I attended, to go the the Catholic high school.  I wonder if my father thought those worms would be blessed, since they had been gathered from consecrated ground.

Back to the the story.  In about 10 or fifteen minutes we would have several cans of fresh night-crawlers – the perfect bait.

Unless you are trying to catch chipmunks.  Then the perfect bait would be peanut butter on a Ritz cracker.  One weekend Diane and I caught over thirty of the little rascals in our yard back in Michigan.  We had a “gentle trap” that would catch them alive.  We would put the cage in the back of the car and release them in the wild several miles from our home.  (An interesting aside – a Red Tailed Hawk seemed to be getting fatter as the weekend progressed.) So for catching chipmunks and squirrels, peanut butter is the perfect bait.

In Mark 10 Jesus promises Peter and others that he would make them “fishers of men.”  So what kind of bait do you suppose he used?  The exact same bait we would use if we want to lead people toward a relationship with Jesus.

Love.

Love.  Real, genuine, unconditional love.  Like ants to honey, like chipmunks to peanut butter.  Nothing works better than love.  I don’t know why it is so hard for some of us to get this.   Pretend love is the bait of pedophiles, and sleazy salesmen everywhere.  But authentic, sacrificial love is unmatched.  Fake it and our reputation falters, live it and walls fall down, lives change.

So if you want your neighbors, friends or relatives to know the Jesus you know you could try knocking on their door and giving them a tract.  Or you could do what Jesus did.  Love them to death.

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