Jump In

--"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16).

In his book, In the Eye of the Storm, Max Lucado tells of a groundbreaking operation that occurred on February 15, 1921. In many ways, he says, it was a routine procedure. The patient was complaining of abdominal pain of a type that clearly indicated his appendix would soon rupture. An appendectomy was needed. The surgeon, Dr. Evan O'Neil Kane had performed this procedure countless times in his long career. But, because of two circumstances, this was to be a unique procedure.

First, local anesthetic was used rather than general anesthetic. In other words, the patient was awake during the entire operation. Believing it to be a great risk with potentially harmful side effects, Dr. Kane was a vocal opponent of anesthesia that put the patient to sleep. And, on this occasion, he had finally found a volunteer who would allow him to test his belief that such an operation could be performed without it.

The second thing that made this operation so remarkable was this: the volunteer was also the operating physician. In an effort to prove his own theory, Dr. Kane went under his own scalpel. Using only local anesthetic, he performed an appendectomy on himself. This surgeon was so dedicated to his convictions he underwent considerable risk to prove them.

Time magazine reports that, 11 years later, Kane performed another operation on himself. He repaired an inguinal hernia. During the nearly two hour operation, Kane joked with assisting hospital staff. The only part of the surgery he couldn't perform for himself was the final two stitches. The local anesthesia had made him too drowsy, so he asked a colleague to finish.

Today at the Norfolk Church of Christ, we won't ask you to do anything so drastic. But we do want you to play a part. We want you to be dedicated. We want your worship to be active. If you are a guest with us, feel free to hang back and watch. We would love for you to be a part, too, but no one will force you. But, if you're a member, we want you to be actively engaged in worship by participating in the service and by recommitting yourself to serve God as you leave.

We don't say it enough, but our church is best experienced by being involved. We don't want spectators, we want players. We want you to be actively involved in following Jesus. We'll see that Paul expects the same thing. He gives a picture of life in Christ that is active and involved and affects our entire lives.