A Real God Addressing Real Brokenness through and in us = Real Church

English: A homeless on the corner of Cologne C...

English: A homeless on the corner of Cologne Cathedral, Germany, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devotional Thought of the Day:

35Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. 36  When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. 37  “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! 38  On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”    Matthew 9:35-38 (MSG)

744 You don’t have an ounce of supernatural vision and it is only their social standing that you notice. Souls mean nothing to you at all, nor do you serve them. That is why you are not generous… but live far from God with your false piety, even though you may pray a lot. The Master has said very clearly: “Depart from me … into that eternal fire … for I was hungry … I was thirsty … I was in prison … and you did not care for me.”  (1)

It is the time of Advent, a time where our readings in Church traditionally deal with the brokenness of people.

It’s the days before Christmas, and for many people i know, it will be a hard one, as they grieve.  I don’t even like writing this, for it causes me to face my own grief, and the burdon of knowing so many who will be grieving as well.  Others wonder about their own future, as health or finances are limited, as anxiety builds.  Students in college are facing finals – a particular pressure to perform, and papers that must get done.   We deal with our own brokenness, our own loneliness.  The darkened days result in a physical drain as well.  For many, this season of Peace and Joy becomes one of questioning – why can’t I feel that joyous?  Why can’t I know that peace everyone else seems to know so well?

With all of this going on, for the church, for all believers I raise a question.

Will you see those around you?  The hostess at the restaurant whose smile is forced, the person at the office party who doesn’t quite engage everyone else, but leaves as soon as possible.  The single-mom who is struggling with trying to figure out how to make all the ends meet and still have something for her children for Christmas?  The people that you know who’ve lost someone in the last year or two… who will be alone this Christmas? The homeless person – who is sick because there was no room at the rescue mission?

Will they see you?  Not just as another person who doesn’t care, but as someone who will at least acknowledge the brokeness and spend time with them – even if they can’t materially help.  Will you be there for them.  Will you allow God to work through you to bring them some peace, some knowledge that they are loved?  Will you know the joy of imitating Christ, of represnting Jesus to those He has sent you to, even as the Father sent Him to us?

Will we care for the people who are without shepherds, who are lost in this crazy world? Will our heart break over the trauma, physical, emotional, spiritual, that is all around us?

As we talked last night in the class I am teaching, we talked about how evangelism is not just a 5 minute chat with someone who doesn’t know Christ. It’s about being alive in Christ, of realizing that love, of knowing that others desperately need to know it – and that they are all around us.  Even those sitting in Bible Study with us, even those leading worship up front.  THis morning as I visited with some friends, I was amazed to hear of their care for me and for others in our church, even as they faced their own challenges.  They minister to others incredibly, even as they minister from their own weakness.  Saturday, I was blessed by a friend, who wanted to check up on me, to know how/if I was handling my own grief, and dealing with the “burden” of caring for others.  This is church. Real church, The people of God who are willing to let a real God be God, and minister to them, and through them.  I can go on and on, but ministry, real ministry is seen in our relationship with God, that interacts with our relationship with each other.

We all need a real God, we all need to know He is with us as we face real challenges, and our own real brokenness, as we help others find His healing as well.  That is when “Church” (those gathered/called together by God to be His people) is “real church”  When we take the time to spend it with those who need it, even if it makes us late.  Even if it costs us a little time and money. For then we see them… and they see us… and we, together, see Christ revealed in our presence.

So take time – invest it in those around you.  Not just those that will left you up, but those that need to be lifted up.

You would be amazed at the depth of peace and joy that comes from seeing God with us…..

Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3102-3107). 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 December 9, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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