Church as a M*A*S*H* unit

Devotional/Discussion thought of the day:

It’s nearly 1 o’clock, and I am just starting to write my devotional today – which is kinda sad – because it is part of my personal devotion.  Part of the reason is that things have been topsy-turvy, with several people needing to know God’s presence, and a busy schedule and once again, I feel pulled in a bunch of different places, and all I want is to find some down time.  I feel like a character from my old favorite show, M*A*S*H*.

To be honest, I would hope that people think of me as like a cross between Fr. Mulchahey and Hawkeye, but I am probably more like C.E.W. III. ( When we were deciding my son’s first and middle name – even though it wasn’t the reason – it seemed right that he would be William Kristopher – the actor who played the priest!)

But in reality, a church is like a MASH unit – we are in the middle of a raging war against forces of darkness. and we are brought constantly those are wounded.  A number of them are bruised and battered and won’t make it – they will stay in our wards until its time to leave this life – and several have recently.  Some are here for a shorter time – a time of respite and healing, and then they are  back off into the war.  Dinged but not destroyed, hurt but able to function, able to heal.   Others would head home, their lives changed, but their ability to cope with the damage due in part to the work of the doctors – all of them including CEW and Frank Burns.  I remember well the incident with the pianist/private who lost his right hand – and CEW showed such compassion in showing him the musical masterpieces written by a composer – who only had a left hand

Indeed, each church is more the staff of the MASH than those treated there.  Each one of us has a few screws loose – you have to, in order to survive a war.  We have all the different characters, from Radar to Hot Lips, from Frank to Colonel Potter, and of course the inhabitants of the swamp, and the priest who was the only sane one, but that’s because he was more aware of God sustaining him. Some of us even have a Corporal Klinger or two… who thinks he’s not broken, but pretends he is broken, and finds he’s broken in other ways.  We are a surgical unit – that works on hearts and minds brutalized by life, and a spiritual battle with enemies that are not human, yet, do great damage.  Healing is only found in Jesus… and the Holy Spirit guides our words, actually His words of life – that surgically cut away the damage of sin, and bring healing to wounded relationships.

At its best… the church ministers in its community in spite of their brokenness – yet its their brokenness that allows them to survive.  We laugh, and cry, and even go catatonic, but find the ability to get back to work when the sound of the wounded arriving on choppers echo into our lives.   It is then we rely on God, and work without stopping, and as a team – for lives are on the line, not just physically, but spiritually, not just our patients, but our own as well.

We’ve got a motto here at Concordia – that would describe them well there.  We are a place where people are healing in Christ, while helping others to heal.

Sometimes that healing is heading heavenward.  Sometimes it will be moving on… changed, but perhaps more alive.

But we will forever be changed – by serving those whom God brings…

Lord have mercy, and help us see, and communicate – You have!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on August 14, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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