The Broken: Repair or Replace?
Discussion/Devotional thought of the day:
Last week I was at a convention of my district. As things progressed, as people were elected and resolutions considered, debated, passed or passed by, it hit me.
We live as a “reactionary” church.
Most of the resolutions seem to either try to correct past resolutions of past conventions, or strengthen that which was decided, and proven to be too week to be effective. Rather than deal with past errors – we keep treating the symptoms, rather than the cause. Examples abound, as we struggle with the vocations of laity and the pastoral office, as we struggle with having a governance which is basically a representative democracy, and how that works in a manner where those elected have pastoral/ecclesial responsibility over those who elect them.
So we try to fix what’s wrong, we elect people who we think are wise, or at least persuasive, or who we know someone who knows their pastor…and we make our judgments that way. We take that which is broken, and try to bend it back, use duct tape, whatever will allow it to function – even if it functions barely…. and we become satisfied for another three years, and pride ourselves on getting it done.
It is reminiscent of our spiritual lives as individuals, and as the church at large. Rather than deal with issues, we deal with the repercussions they cause. An example – the debate over abortion and insurance. We fight (or at least gripe about) the legislation, and battle those who pass it. What if the majority of our time and money was expressed in the teaching of God’s love, and explaining how God created us to live? If we worked for actually brining the means of grace to broken lives, which doesn’t just “cover up” the cause of things, but recreates them anew in Christ?
What if people understood what it meant to be baptized, and began to cherish that which they had been given?
What if we grasped verses like this….
5:17 So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NJB)
What if we understood that God doesn’t just repair us, but has made us new?
We pray, “Lord, have mercy!” Now go, and live this day, confident in that mercy that just doesn’t repair the consequences, but completely renews our hearts and our minds.