The Gospel of Head or Tails


Recently I was invited to attend an auction to raise money for Young Life.  Since a couple of my kids are involved, I wanted to go along and support the cause.  So I bought my $56 dinner ticket, perused the bidding tables, bought a $20 glow-stick bracelet for a game, and settled in for the auction and activities.

When it came time for the bracelet thing, it turned out to be a game of Heads or Tails.  Anyone who had purchased one or more bracelets stood up and had to get in either the “Mickey” position (hands above your head as if they were Mickey’s ears) or the “Donald” position (arms outstretched like Donald’s bill).  A massive Mickey/Donald “coin” would be flipped and anyone who got it wrong had to give up their bracelet and sit down.  However, if you had purchased more than one bracelet, each extra bracelet gave you an extra life.  A lady at my table had purchased seven.

Well, the flipping began and within four flips the initial group of about 75 had dwindled to just six of us, so they brought the six of us up front.

Two more flips and there were just two people left – myself and the lady from my table who had started with seven.  She still had four lives left.  I still clinging onto my one.  Each flip I chose right.  Each flip she chose wrong.  Again, and again, and again, and again…until she was out and I had won!  I couldn’t believe it.    No one, actually, could believe it.  I felt a bit bad for the lady who had bought seven bracelets and still lost, but I got over it.  I had made it through ten coin flips, choosing right each time, to the very end.  My son was beside himself with excitement because the prize was…four Disneyland Park-Hopper passes.  Net worth: $600.  Now that’s a good day, and I plan to attend every fundraising auction I ever get invited to in the future!

Well, imagine with me for a moment that you are in the room that night, but that the prize is not just four Disneyland Park-Hopper tickets for the winner, but that if that winner makes it through 10 flips on just one life, then EVERYONE in the room gets four Disneyland Park-Hopper tickets.  In other words, if someone makes it to the end of 10 flips, even if you tried and failed along the way, ALL OF US get the blessing.

Imagine the collective feeling, the joy, the fun, the celebration, and the free pass to the greatest place on earth!

Now that would be truly awesome…and potentially could bankrupt Young Life for good.

But that is the gospel.

Yes, that’s right.  Jesus came among us, with just one life, and he lived that life perfectly, at each and every turn he made the good choice – every step of the way he chose the Father’s will.  Where you and I and everyone else in the entire world and throughout all time has chosen again and again to not listen to the Father, to reject God’s will in our life, to do our own thing and to go our own way, Jesus lived a life of perfect faithfulness.  He made it all the way.

And when Jesus made it to the end, you and I were included in his victory.  You and I get the share in the victory of the beloved Son of the Father, as adopted sons and daughters of the Father.  We didn’t earn it.  There were no conditions.  All gift.  All gospel.  All good-news.  Let us live in the light of such good news and of such unconditional grace.  God is for you.  Let all the earth rejoice!