Churches aren’t for good people….

Discussion Thought of the Day::  

10  Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11  But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” 12  When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13  Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”   Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT)

424      If you abandon yourself once more in God’s hands, the Holy Spirit will give light to your understanding and strength to your will.

(1) A young friend of mine recently posted something on FB that concerned me.  Basically it comes down to the normal idea of not judging others for how they try to worship God.  That one doesn’t need a church full of believers singing songs, but that the relationship with God can happen on a surf board. It got me thinking again, about how people see church, and church people.  Do we come across as judgmental?  As Hypocritical or condescending?

Why would someone be drawn to write something defending their choice to stay away from church – whether a church or any church? I wonder if we make church sound like a gathering of “good people”.  That people who sin in certain ways aren’t welcome, or that people that doubt or don’t know all the right stuff have to get with it, or they won’t be welcome.  Do we rejoice only when someone comes who can be immediately placed into leadership?  Or do we rejoice only when someone’s turned around?  Can we rejoice when someone not so clean, not so moral, not so in agreement with us walks into the church?

Here is a little test.  Choose the president or world leader you dislike and/or disagree with the most.  Would you be excited if they sat next to you in church this Sunday?   Answer Yes or No only.  No “buts”, or “ifs” or any other qualification.  If not a world leader – your opponent in life.  Would you desire that they would know God’s grace?  (See Hebrews 12).

If we struggle, and most of us would about someone… we need to go back to the beginning – to realize that Jesus brought us to His table when we knew we were the scum of the earth. We need to grasp that in some ways…we still are. No, not in some ways, yet that is not all we are.  We are fully scum and saint, sinner and child of God. And its the former that Christ has coem to know, it is the former of those that He came to save. This Christianity, the word of God to be heard, the baptism, the Lord’s Supper…. it isn’t for the good people.  It is for those who need, who are spiritually sick, who are broken, and held hostage by sin. Chruch is our celebration of hearing, of being cleansed, of being fed and comforted and our confidence in God’s love and presence strengthened.  Together, because this world will run over us if we are apart.

We need to be here, with each other, broken and healing, abandoning ourselves, individually and corporately into the hands of a God who came here to love us, to walk with us, heal us… to be with us.

That means we hide less, for we realize we aren’t risking anything, but we are in the hands of God.  That’s what Church is about.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1629-1630). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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 September 12, 2013, in Devotions. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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