‘All aboard!’


People, get ready

There’s a train a-coming

You don’t need no ticket

You just get on board

All you need is faith

To hear the diesels humming

Don’t need no ticket

You just thank the Lord

– Curtis Mayfield

Get ready people; something’s coming. Curtis Mayfield knew it. “I must have been in a very deep mood of that type of religious inspiration when I wrote that song,” he said later of the 1965 hit recorded by the Impressions. There were a lot of others caught up in that inspiration in the mid-sixties. It was the first of a string of gospel influences in American pop music that helped ready a generation for a spiritual revolution. Bob Dylan sang about the gospel ship coming in; Creedence added that the end was coming soon; Peter, Paul & Mary told everybody to pray on the very last day; Barry McGuire warned we were on the eve of destruction; and Norman Greenbaum saw the Spirit in the sky. All this was before any Christians showed up with Jesus music.

Surprisingly, a lot of those early songs were about the coming judgment. Mayfield’s song goes on to say:

There ain’t no room

For the hopeless sinner

Who would hurt all mankind

Just to save his own

Have pity on those

Whose chances are thinner

‘Cause there’s no hiding place

From the kingdom’s throne

Yet through all of this, that train keeps rolling. You can hear the wheels click and clack. Though we don’t hear about it as much now, the end is nearer, and the train keeps picking up passengers. It’s the gospel of welcome; it’s the free call of “All aboard!” and you still don’t need a ticket. That’s grace. Grace is everyone’s ticket. Just climb on board by faith.

It’s a long train — in fact you never get to the end of it — it just keeps on going. However it does make lots of stops. It stops for anyone who wants to get on.

And when it stops, some people get off, too. These are people going out to invite others on board.

There is work to do both on and off the train. On the train, everyone is ideally discipling and being discipled. Off the train, everyone is inviting folks on board. The important thing is that everyone is doing something.

Whether they are new Christians, old Christians, or not Christians at all, our assignment is the same. Travel alongside someone; find out what they know; and teach them everything you know and have learned from Christ, or as Jesus put it, “teach them to observe all that I commanded you.” It’s time to get busy. Don’t just read the Catch; do something about it.

This entry was posted in discipleship, grace, Jesus Movement, kingdom of God, new frontier and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to ‘All aboard!’

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Amen to this, It’s time to get busy. Don’t just read the Catch; do something about it.

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