Individuals are saved into a community. St. Paul refers to this community as a temple of the Lord. This temple is unfinished. It’s a work in progress.
It’s an ever-expanding renovation project, acquiring new people, new tribes, new lands and new areas of human culture – sanded, refitted, resurfaced, polished and repurposed – without end – from the rivers to the end of the earth.
It’s messy but this building is being shaped into something beautiful that houses the Triune God.
But like all renovation projects, in which you are still trying to live in it – it strains patience, strains belief, strains our ability to envision the final product – it requires a lot of faith and hope.
We all know that.
People sin. Circumstances of life are difficult. People move away. People in church are not perfect. Resources are strained.
The people being repurposed into this building, the church, are delicate and difficult, they require specialized tools. And those tools are you and me.
I don’t know if you know this – but you – with all your attributes, life experiences, frailties and character traits – complete me. Without you I am a foot without a leg, an ear without a head.
You were born to have a significant role in my life. To play the part of sandpaper and duct tape. Pry bar and finishing hammer. Veneer and scrub brush. Congratulations. But I also complete you. This community is not the elders. This community is not a select clique.
You need everyone in this community. Not just the folks whose company you enjoy most – who are the most compatible, likeable, lovable and the least work.
I instill a lot of patience in people, by nature, because it takes a lot of patience to be close to me. Ask my wife. There is a fruit of the spirit that you are most adequately equipped to encourage in me. Trust me. Continue reading “Escaping the Christian Ghetto of the “church””