Don’t Stay Away

viaadminVolume 51

“Stay away!” A quick internet search of those two words brings up a sad collection of news stories.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, many tourist destinations changed their normal message entirely, and have asked tourists to stay at home instead. Many places affected by disasters like floods and fires say it too. Places with political unrest are repeating the same words. “Stay away!” It is a discouraging message. It can leave you feeling uneasy, or even unsafe. And it is definitely unwelcoming! When you need help, the last thing you want to hear is, “stay away.” When you are looking for someone to lean on, you need someone who will take you in, not turn you away.

Through all the changes in this world, all the fear, and all the separation, there is one voice that has a very different message. Listen to these words: “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Even though it was given nearly 2000 years ago, this invitation is still available! These are the words of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. His loving, welcoming invitation is exactly the opposite of what the world says. When everyone else says, “stay away,” He says, “come to Me.”

This invitation tells us a lot about how God sees us. God doesn’t just tell us we have a problem, then leave us on our own to fix it. He has identified the problem we have - our sin that separates us from Him - and He knows it is a heavy load we can’t carry on our own. No amount of work we do can fix it. But not only does He know our problem, He has made Himself available as the answer! He doesn’t send us off to another person or another place. Instead, He sent His Son to us.

Another amazing thing about this invitation is how much it cost Him to give it. When some people say, “stay away,” it’s a way of trying to keep themselves safe. But staying safe certainly was not Jesus’ goal. For Him to be our Saviour, and free us from the heavy load of our sin, He had to give up His own life, and take the punishment our sins deserved. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). You won’t find a love like that anywhere else on earth. Jesus Christ died to be your Saviour, and He invites you to come to Him for salvation! Will you come?

Share this Post