I’m realizing more and more the true condition of humans — you and me.
We spend our whole lives making sure no one sees the cracked pieces we’re trying to hold together.
Take 10 of us Malayalees, and we’re no different from any other culture in our brokenness. Somewhere among that 10, there’s at least one: abusive spouse, molested child, porn addict, paranoid schizophrenic and someone who can’t keep food on the table for their children. And plenty who feel irreparably guilty either for something they’ve done or something done to them.
It’s human nature to feel like everyone else is normal and try to act like you’re normal, too.
Believers are hungry for the realness of God. I think He’s real when He takes messed up people and heals their brokenness. When I’m with believers, I want to acknowledge that we are all so flawed. I want to talk to that person who [insert sin here] and say, I feel ya, man. If I were to look at this person in shock and judgment, I would be judging myself. And contributing to the farce that our churches are made of perfect people.
THE FARCE (Are you and I in on it?)
Have you ever gone to a wedding where a speaker talks about the wonderful reputation of the bride and groom? She’s in the choir, he’s a Sunday School teacher, and so on.
Apparently the activities you do in church make you a good person. Sometimes I don’t like the idea of being on stage because I don’t like the idea that I’m projecting some image that I’m any more righteous than the person sitting in church that everyone is afraid to talk to because they committed some unforgivable sin.
Our churches buy into the lie that once you commit the wrong offense and it goes public, your place is sitting stone cold in a pew (if not outside the church). God forbid that there is still a divine purpose for your life. God forbid that you could get back on track, become a servant leader and be a symbol of God’s restoration and amazingness.
Christ died on the cross and shed his blood because you and I need his grace and forgiveness. The minute you think you’re any better than an “outed” sinner, you’re fooling yourself.
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?[a] 4 Have you experienced[b] so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? – Galatians 3
Could we do this —
Could we create an atmosphere where the woman who had an abortion — the pastor’s wife, the single college student — where they could find the help they need? Where church/God is their answer?
What is the purpose of church? Is it a private country club to let you socialize and keep your children safe? Or does it have a responsibility to feed the hungry and teach the homeless, to welcome the sinner and prove the worth of the cross?
THE FREE QUIZ
When a broken person knocks on your church door — disheveled/homeless/hungry/abused, whatever, how do you respond?
A) Sorry we’re having a service in our native language right now.
B) There’s a [insert ethnicity here] church up the road. Good luck.
C) Call 211. You don’t have a phone? Good luck.
D) I think there’s a food pantry 15 minutes from here. Don’t know the name. You don’t have a car or Google Maps? Good luck.
The past few months I’ve witnessed churches who have taken the gospel to heart and are taking responsibility for people who need help. They refuse to limit salvation to people of their color or perceived status.
I will be sharing some examples in posts to come. I’m not an expert on the purpose of the church or serving the broken, but I welcome discussion so we can all make good decisions when opportunities arise to serve Jesus in disguise.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ – Matthew 25
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paullonghurst/3539716916/