LITTLE WHITE LIE
There is a ‘little white lie’ that has gained ground in the church. Subconsciously (or perhaps not so subconsciously), we have convinced ourselves that “church” looks like clean, mentally healthy, financially stable, emotionally available, sober, organized, and pious people. I don’t know about you but the thought of spending an afternoon in that group makes me want to run… as opposed to engaging in church.
What happens on the days when Christians struggle with sin, anxiety, guilt, addiction, depression, doubt, or anger? What happens to the lonely, the doubter, the broken marriage, the unemployed, the widow, the troubled teen, the addicted, the seeker, the prideful, or the partier in this scenario?
Worse still, where does the non-Christian fit?
My friend is a house-flipper. It is a real thing believe it or not. She buys houses at auctions, fixes them up, and sells them. Well, last year she bought what she thought was “gold.” A perfectly manicured four bedroom home with a wrap-around deck, views, and a detached garage. She got the keys at the auction and pulled into the driveway. As she approached the home she grinned with glee, “It’s gold!” She walked around the back and opened the door only to be hit with the sharp smell of rot and mold. The inside of the home was a pit of endless work. Her grin changed to determination as she smiled at me, “It’s a wreck, but I’ve got this.”
Wouldn’t it be great if the church… wait let me define “church.” “Church” being not the American institution of buildings, air conditioning, and lights… “Church” being you and me.
So, wouldn’t it be great if you and me looked at the mess in the world, put on a face of determination, and said, “It’s a wreck, but I’ve got this?”
Church is messy. Trust me, I’ve been in it since before I could walk. I would say that over 30 years of experience makes me a bit of an expert on this topic. Not only have I sat in the pews (those are chairs for all you young people), but I have been on church staff for over a decade.
If we are honest, we would admit that Christians are hypocritical self-serving indulgent people… who are also forgiven, loved, victorious, and being transformed by the love of God.
Let me introduce myself. I am Cheri, and I am follower of Jesus.
Church is not a white-washed building. Church is where the sick come to be healed, where the lonely come to know comfort, where the angry come to know peace, where the addict comes to know recovery, where the guilty come to know forgiveness, where the wicked find mercy, where the prideful find humility, where the disconnected find family…
Let’s embrace people who would rather be getting a root canal than attend church on Sunday (you know who you are.) Let’s build relationships that change the world because we are invested, genuine, and committed.
Jesus looks at Tacoma and says to me, “It’s a wreck, but we’ve got this.”
Perhaps a messy church, is the truest reflection of the cross. Perhaps in our brokenness, is found the glory of the living God.