We don’t often use the term “lame” much anymore, except in the vernacular to describe someone who is not “cool.” As we celebrated communion this week we looked at a character from the Old Testament who was physically lame. In 2 Samuel 9 we read of Mephibosheth, who was Saul’s grandson. Saul had been the first king of Israel and had, on more than one occasion, tried to kill David, who was anointed by the Lord to be Saul’s successor. David and Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a deep friendship and were as close as brothers. In chapter 9, Saul and Jonathan are now dead, David is king; and, for Jonathan’s sake, he wants to show kindness to living members of the house of Saul. Ziba, a servant from the house of Saul was found and he identified Mephibosheth as a son of Jonathan. Mephibosheth was crippled from the age of five because he was dropped when his nurse was fleeing with him after the death of Jonathan and Saul at the battle of Mount Gilboa. David brings Mephibosheth to his household to live with him and says he will eat at the King’s table like one of the King’s family. Mephibosheth’s name means “dispeller of shame.”
Though we may not have physical disabilities that cause us to be lame, we are all spiritually lame, unable to bring ourselves to salvation. But God, in the greatest act of grace, reached out to us and provided salvation through the death of His son Jesus. There is nothing we can do to earn this salvation. God, the great bearer of our shame through the crucifixion of His son Jesus, carries us to His table and invites us to dine with Him. This is the gospel.
Many of our missionaries are so wounded that they may feel emotionally lame. Mark and Donna McDonnel have served in Kiev, Ukraine, with WorldVenture for 18 years, 13 of which with RBC as a supporting church. The McDonnels have been through some hard trials lately, but they have endured. Mark’s primary ministry is as a seminary professor at Kiev Theological Seminary, but they also felt the Lord drawing them to become involved with a ministry of their local church to the physically and mentally disabled. There is far less government assistance there than in the U.S., making any ministry to these families especially meaningful.
Each year the church hosts a camp for these special people. Because of your faithful giving RBC has been able to provide financial help toward this camp. The McDonnels have shared a short video from this year’s camp. During the video, Pastor Sasha is asking the candidates if they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and that they are saved by faith in Him alone. Each responds, “I believe.” Then he asks if they will commit their lives to serving Him, and they respond, “Yes.” Then Sasha says, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The last one to be baptized, Andrei, is carried into the pool.