I think everyone enjoys reading the catchy little phrases that churches like to post on their front lawns to draw attention their way. At one time in my life, I was in charge of changing the message at my church every week, and I remember carrying the box of plastic letters and numbers out to the church sign on Friday morning to take the old message down and replace it with the new one. With the technological age well upon us, we see messages streaming, winking and blinking, and flashing in various colors, all drawing the passersby to pause to read whatever the message of the day might be. I have chuckled over some of the more clever ones, and I have taken pause in whatever was going through my mind at the time to reflect on the wisdom or humor of a message.
Down the road from where I live now is a little white frame Pentecostal Holiness church, and its signs are a source of inspiration and entertainment every morning as I walk my little dog, Sunshine, up the sidewalk past the church. This is not a fancy church, and I have a hunch that its members are not wealthy people. But they love their signs, which are often decorated with helium balloons, ribbons, or other sparkly doo-dads. Spelling is also sometimes a source for a chuckle from me. For instance, one that is on display now states on one side, “Every tongus shall confess to God.” On the opposite side, the sign maker corrected the mistake! I also love the three crosses with the American flags at their base. These church members can never be accused of not being patriotic, that’s for sure.
There is one sign, however, that doesn’t seem to fit the evangelical nature of this little church. To the right of the driveway of the small gravel parking area beside the church is this sign:
There is something about this sign that tugs at me, and makes me start thinking about religion, Christianity, and faith. I’m sure it is there to keep people off of the church grounds when nobody is there, or to dissuade ne’er-do-wells from using the parking area for purposes other than holy ones. But to me, it appears to be sending a message quite different from the other signs gracing the front of the church.
As Christians, we preach that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. We invite people to invite Christ into their lives and hearts, and we dedicate our lives to proclaiming the good news. But how often do we put up our own “No Trespassing” sign in the front yard of our lives warning those who pass our way to keep out? If you are not like me, if you don’t believe exactly as I do, if you come at the wrong time, then you aren’t welcome here. Don’t park in my driveway.
Just a little something to think about this morning.