A comment in church yesterday spun my mind into a million different directions about the worldwide Church and her mission.
My neck of the woods is heavily populated by Christians so much so that many would argue the public schools are comparable to private Christian schools in other parts of the country.
Church is looked at as a necessity for Sunday morning worship, Wednesday night youth group, throw in a small group another night, and then a committee meeting every other week and call it good.
Literally the entire town shuts down every Sunday, oh except for that one grocery store the town was in uproar over when it decided to open after church a few years ago. Oh and don't even think about mowing your lawn or shaking out the rugs, you will instantly become the town's gossip next Sunday during fellowship hour.
Don't get me wrong, what a blessing it is to be surrounded by such a rich body of believers seeking to invest and love one another through their community however, what really is the mission of the Church?
The taste I have been getting lately in my mouth is exclusive, uppity, and ritualistic. While I believe wholeheartedly in the strengthening and edifying of the body of Christ, I am afraid we are leaning so far in that direction that we are forgetting to reach out, make disciples, and open our door to outsiders.
Instead of seeking out the lost, broken, discriminated, lonely, homeless, and marginalized like Jesus did we sit and stay content in our million dollar sanctuaries filled with white middle to upper class families singing Christianized self-fulfilling praise songs with others who have grown up in the Church their whole lives and look quite similar to us.
"We must allow ourselves to be rescued by those who live in poverty, by those who suffer. Let them teach us about the heart of God. We believe we have everything, but we so often lack the very things that are most valuable. Things that can be learned in companionship with those who suffer and mourn and yet celebrate with abandoned joy, those who find community and family in the most unlikely places (Sarah Lance)."
Are we seeking to satisfy Christians or Christ? Is our outreach a mission aimed towards those other Christians who go to that other Church or are we living alongside the poor and powerless demonstrating Christ's redeeming work in the world? Are we so fixated on sin that we cannot love a daughter or son of our Father purely with mercy and trust that the Lord ultimately forgives and reconciles all through the blood of His son?
Beloved Church, may we love all, not simply those who live, act, and look like us.
Body of Christ, what would it look like if our words and actions were done out of grace and love rather than beaten down rugged works and rituals?
Brothers and sisters does it really matter if I hang my laundry outside on a Sunday? Why must we judge, discriminate, and patronize over such small insignificant moments? What if we spent that time loving, learning, and listening?
I believe in you Church, I always will.
Labels: Church, Jesus Christ, ministry, missions, questions