Do you ever just get sick of our arrogance? Our ways of thinking that assume we somehow must show up and come through for God to be God and for His name to be protected. For Him to be good and for people to know Him as such that it somehow depends upon me. I find myself doing that all the time. I must do this because God “needs” me to. I must know the right answers because saying I might not know doesn’t look good for God. Boxing people in and leaving people out by our boundary lines that we create because we’ve read this good book and we know what it says and “those” people aren’t following Scripture.
I was on a website today and this is how they described themselves (and I quote unfortunately)…”We seek no creed but Christ, no rule in religion but the Bible, no worship but that which is taught on the pages of the New Testament, no names but Bible names, and no plan of salvation besides what God has made known in His Word. In short, ours is a call to undenominational, first-century, New Testament Christianity in every regard (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We determine to “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11) in all we say, and act by the authority of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17) in all we do. We invite you to investigate what we believe and practice – compare it with what the Bible teaches, and we think you’ll be pleased with what you find.”
Whewwwww…I’ll be honest with you I read things like that at this point in my journey and I get nervous and then usually sick to my stomach. The sales pitch I suppose is good, except what we’re selling is a perfect church that doesn’t need much blood to cover us because we’ve got it figured out and when you walk through the doors you’ll see that we know alot.
How about this…how about we put the truth on our website? How about a description that says…Behind these doors you’ll find a whole bunch of broken people who are absolutely lost without the blood of this One named Jesus. You’ll find us to be hypocrites and prideful. We’re weak and fickle and much of what we say and a lot of what we do will look good and equally as much will be self serving and do a horrible injustice to the heart of God. If you look at us you will undoubtedly be disappointed. We’ll lift you up and encourage you sometimes and just as often let you down and beat you up by our own ignorance and insecurities. We certainly don’t do this religion thing perfectly, matter of fact if it were up to us and the way we lived it out, no one would want anything to do with it.
Yep that pretty much describes us…but let me tell you what we’ve found together inside this place. We have found this God who always shows up. We’ve found a God who is big enough that He doesn’t need us and yet tender enough that He’ll always want us near Him. We’ve fallen in love with a man who went to a cross to prove that. We have found that we know next to nothing and God is everything and we’re finally willing to let that be enough. And you know what’s happened in the process…we’re having fun loving on a God who doesn’t feel like an obligation but a privilege. We’re living out dreams that aren’t graded by success or failure but are fulfilling because they’re God’s dreams and I get to come alongside and be part of His plan.
I just wonder what would happen if we’d ever just get honest and admit that we’re nothing. I wonder if we’d finally realize we’re all on even ground in desperate need of a Saviour. I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t much care for a group of people who think they act right in “every regard” or perfom perfectly in “all we say and all we do.” Pretty sure this world full of sinners is looking for some people who remember they’re sinners too in search of a Saviour who seeks to love all over a sinner, no matter how dirty he or she may be.
I guess I just wonder when we’ll get it, myself certainly included. Help us Lord, please help us have hearts that come before you humbly knowing that you don’t need us, that you invite us to come alongside your awesome plans and to be a part of them. Oh what we’d miss out on had you not offered the invitation. Thank You for the offer. We say yes. Help us to remember our place.