Places I love

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A little something about church...

Today was a refreshing day. I opened my eyes, and my husband was there with a cup of coffee and a good morning kiss. I love that man. We talked for a few minutes and decided to go visit a church we hadn't been to in awhile.

I enjoyed God's presence there. The worship was restful and the message was solid. I sat next to a man who smelled like marijuana. There was a man in front of us who looked like he might have just come out of gang life, but man, did he know how to worship. I saw every ethnicity represented there. I loved it.

As I sat there, I listened to the pastor preach about the hope that is found in Christ. He said that today was a the day to go home with hope and not despair. He preached about a future hope and a present deliverance.

I was energized by the people who were fresh with the joy of their salvation. I got to thinking about church in general. I wondered if the reason church is stale for many people is because churches have become something they were never meant to be. I wondered if many churches are filled with those who already know Christ instead of full with those who don't.

Maybe those of us who know Christ, and have walked with Him for awhile, are meant to be the church with legs. Maybe we aren't meant to be sitting in a building Sunday after Sunday looking for something we've already found.

For those who don't know Christ, it is a matter of life and death to have a place to go for counsel, for help, for a new start separate from the community they may feel trapped within.The church doors should swing open to anyone and be a place where safety is found within the walls.

But, so many of our churches nowadays seem to have become another place of judgement and where those seeking Christ just don't fit in. The dirty are often looked down upon. The routine has become more important than the relationship.

There will be a time when we are all clean and pretty and safe and can rest in our knowledge of God. But, I don't think that time is now.

Maybe the church buildings were meant to be the spiritual emergency rooms of the world and not comfortable places where we are entertained. Do we leave church on the lookout for the wounded, or do we go in and come out feeling better about ourselves and leave it at that? I know when I entered a church and found a seat in the back row nearest the door, I didn't care how cool the church made Jesus look or what kind of music they had. I didn't even care if there was coffee available. I was literally running for my life and looking for the only one who could save me.

Many times in the Bible, Jesus heals someone and then it says they immediately got up and and followed him, or served him. Christ called the disciples, and then they were moving. How many of us have responded to Christ and then found our favorite seat in church and stayed there Sunday after Sunday, month after month, year after year, and yet have never experienced the adventure that is walking with Christ?

This is not a criticism of any church, nor is it an advertisement for another. I just got to thinking that maybe we just need to be more on the move. When you're called to a purpose and you don't move forward towards it, life will become unsatisfying.

I, myself, will be praying about all of this. Am I courageous enough to follow Him wherever He may lead me? I know I will waiver, but he is faithful and will never leave me. He promised. He saved you and I for something. He gave you something to offer to a broken wounded world. What is your something?

Next Sunday, I encourage you to walk out the church doors with Him. Take a deep breath and really look at Him. He is most definitely in the church, there to save all of us who are not able to save ourselves. But, He is also alive outside those walls and walking with us every moment of every day. Where do you think Jesus and you might go together this week after Sunday? I'd love to hear where he takes you.

Only by His grace,

Don't be afraid, for the Lord will go before you and will be with you: HE WILL NOT FAIL NOR FORSAKE YOU. 
Deuteronomy 31:8