There is something prevalent in the church today, an insidious business.
No, I’m not talking about a lack of caring, though I’ve seen it. It can be appalling and take a thousand dismaying forms.
Nor am I referring to a lack of commitment. Seen that, too. Funny how committed we all can be to everything but His things.
I’m not even talking about the growing darkness that’s allowing the world to infiltrate pew by pew and call good evil and evil good. Definitely seen that.
Still seeing it. More and more by the day.
And I could get really mouth-foaming angry and rail against the government, the pulpits, and society in general.
But, what would that truly gain?
Yep. You guessed it. Nada.
So…if it’s not those things, what am I talking about, anyway?!
Well…while all those are part and parcel of the problem, what I see most is…
A lack of Jesus.
Ummm…is He not who we meet for, sing songs for, have sermons for?
Don’t we refer to Him for a couple of hours every week in our nice, air-conditioned buildings?
Oftentimes, more if we put in our Wednesday nights and etceteras( bake sales, VBSes, and various groupings)
Don’t we chat with “friends” about how He’s blessed us while we chill in our state-of-the-art coffee bars before service?
Isn’t He in every slide show from every youth trip? You know…in between the wicked awesome ziplining, the quintessential prank pics, and the heartfelt Kumbayahs around the campfire?
Well, I don’t know. Is He?
Sometimes, I think He’s what it’s all about in some places I have been.
Some services where we dig deep into His word and truth comes alive.
Some moments when conversations strip away pretensions and get at the heart of things.
Some prayers that aren’t about the phraseology or the length, but come from the core.
Some light in the eyes of a child in Sunday School when he really gets “Jesus loves me, this I know.”
But, too often it’s just that.
Snippets. Spritzes. Splashes.
A soupcon of Jesus in the midst of business as usual.
Whatever that business may be and whatever form it takes…
From regimented programs that heaven help you if you deviate from to a stubborn rebellion of programming with guitar riffs and laser lights meant to prove how much we are “chasing God”.
To the ones who won’t embrace someone in ragged clothes to the ones who embrace rampant sin as a “lifestyle”.
All of it can eclipse what-or, rather Who- we are supposed to be there for.
Kind of sad when you think about it-closing the door on the Owner of the house.
The One we are supposedly there to seek after, draw nearer to, gain wisdom from…
And not merely with our lips.
But with our hearts. Our lives.
Oh, I know it is a consequence of humanity. We have this innate sense of taking something beautiful and pure and mucking it up with our own messy, off-the-mark agendas. 😏
But, He tells us, again and again. So patiently : Not that way, this way.
Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me. Love your neighbor as yourself. ( Enough to neither look down on them or mislead them.) I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.
Here I stand at the door and knock.
Sometimes, it seems we get it.
Sometimes, we seem to respond out of the innermost places of our heart.
Sometimes, it would seem we let Him in for a time.
But, I can’t help but wonder:
What would church really look like if we let Him take up His rightful residence, if we took our rightful place as His bride?
I know this side of eternity, with our fallibility, we won’t be that faultless one in white.
But, in the meantime,may we ever be more about His business than our own.