After a post about the problems in the church, I had written a post about what’s good with the church. But I deleted it. The writing didn’t feel right. Although all of it was true, it felt like I was borrowing someone else’s words. The writing seemed plastic. An artificial defense of a very real group of people.
The post included such things as our rich theological history, the faithfulness of the members, our message of grace, our acts of justice, etc. And while I can affirm each one of these, it didn’t get to the heart of what I love about the church.
What I love about the church is its messiness. Its chaos (and I’m not talking about my office). The more we try to regiment our life together the more turmoil we get. But God has a way working through the muddle, giving life, creating a family, building a people.
The regular morning phone call to the blind shut-in to read to her the daily devotional. The neighbourhood children who sneak in the front door and do crafts in the basement. The genuine word of concern for the man who lost his wife. The generosity toward the homeless guy knocking on our door after worship looking for food. The warm welcome of member who’d fallen away after a tragedy, received once again into the fellowship of the broken and hurting.
It’s in the sudden, spontaneous, human moments that the church is at its best. These are moments we can’t control or plan, moments that happen despite ourselves. The best planning and management cannot create these moments. They just happen because because the Spirit of God still hovers over the chaos, bringing fulness of life, gathering us together in a unity that is not our own making.
What I love about the church is what God can do with us messy, chaotic, hopelessly human, and gloriously sanctified people of God. It’s how I know that Jesus is alive and living within all of us together. It’s what’s right with the church.