I admit it. I love the local church.
In its messiness.
In its brokenness.
I love the local church.
And I get so tired of hearing the latest speaker or blogger tell me how they were beaten down or disrespected or cheated by some one “in” the church…I often wonder if they mean the building.
Because no matter the story it often ends with…and that’s why I don’t go to church.
Yep. Got it.
Church to you is a building you attended on Sunday mornings…or night. And you come in expecting a dose of good feelings to get you through your week and some where in there you felt a part of the club.
- You paid the fees when the basket was passed
- You hang with club members on weekends
- You have your kids enrolled in the summer program they put on every year
Yep…you go to church.
Its everyones fault but mine. Those church members just aren’t living up to the standard that I need them to. They aren’t doing what they are supposed to. Hows that log in your eye?
These concepts do not describe the church I know.
The local church isn’t a club to belong to or a place of perfection…it’s Gods vehicle to display his glory to the cosmos….at least that was Pauls perspective (Ephesians 3:10).
And God chooses this broken community to display his glory to even the spiritual enemies opposing this unlikely band of misfits.
It’s a gathering of people, coming together with the assumption that we all have our issues…and the question we are all asking is:
are you going to be willing to walk with me when you find out mine?”
It is this local church then that moves with a purpose every day.
We gather Sundays to encounter God as a community and live out our calling of transformation and new birth in our every day realities.
But he gossiped about me and she lied about me. My marriage is crumbling and my kids have left the faith.
My heart grieves for every issue imaginable.
But does that allow us to blame?
- Do we blame “the church” for our bondage and addictions?
- Do we blame “the church” for not including me?
- Do we blame the church” for its brokenness?
Or do we see the church, the unity of the believers, coming together to glorify God, be in process together, and seek to help those yet to treasure Christ come to know the joy we have experienced?
TO be apart of the story God is writing in peoples lives?
Do display grace…continually?
The grace and mercy showered on me reminds me daily that I need more of it.
The forgiveness I experience for my sins propels me to show forgiveness to others.
The church isn’t some building I walk into on Sundays….its my community; messy and broken as we are, fighting for joy in a God who never fails and believing that together this world sees something that doesn’t make sense.
- Jews and Greeks
- Rich and Poor
- Slave and Free
- Men and Women
- Families and Singles
- Old and Young
Unified in something beyond any of those distinctions.
John Piper speaks of it this way…
Most of us live our lives with far too little awareness of the stupendous realities around us. Most of us go through day after day and seldom feel the impact of the magnitude of what we are caught up in by belonging to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, the ruler of the universe. And we don’t take enough time to meditate on how our jobs, our home life, our leisure, our church involvement—how each of these fits into the cosmic significance of the church. And consequently our lives often lack the flavor of eternity and the aroma of something ultimate. O, that there might be more people among us whose manner of life mirrors something mysterious and wonderful and whose words have a cosmic significance.
I love the local church because despite its flaws, God chooses to continue to use this broken vehicle to display his glory to the world.
You. And. Me. Together.
join with me in the journey…