In the movie The Blues Brothers Elwood and “Joliet” Jake Blues are brothers who were raised in a Catholic orphanage run by Sister Mary Stigmata. The movie begins when Elwood picks up Jake from prison and heads over to the orphanage to see Sister Mary. Neither Elwood or Jake are particularly “religious” yet when they find out the orphanage will be foreclosed because of a tax lien, they promise Sister Mary they will try to get the money needed to pay off the tax lien. Then, while walking down a street in Chicago they wander into the Triple Rock Baptist Church and hear a sermon by the Reverend Cleophus James. Jake has an epiphany. He sees a light shine down from the window at the front of the church that illuminates him. He begins to shake and twitch and then starts doing handsprings up and down the center aisle of the church. He now believes he is on a “mission from God” to re-form their old band, the “Blues Brothers”, which disbanded while Jake was in prison, to raise the money and save the orphanage. I have always found the scene where Jake “sees the light” hilarious. Yet, I wonder how many people have had a religious experience comparable to that. When Billy Graham was traveling around the country “crusading” for Jesus, there would be an alter call at the end of every service. The number of people who would come forward over the years to become disciples of Jesus at Graham’s invitation is too high to count. Maybe there were no handsprings, but the immediacy of the conversion was little different.
And then there are those who don’t get that lightning strike. Who don’t feel the urge to head toward the alter at the end of the service. They might want to be disciples, but they struggle. Their journey is a long and winding and bumpy road from which they get lost from time to time. What of them? What does Jesus do with them? This Sunday, Pastor Jeff will preach “Peter” from John 21:15-19 and talk about what it is like to stumble into and through discipleship. Come and hear about it at 8:30 and 11 at John McMillan Presbyterian Church. We look forward to seeing you.