Touchpoints on The Church
“No wonder Jesus said, “Come as a child. Come with the innocence of wonder and awe. Don’t be a stumbling block.” My mom used to say as I was leaving to go with my friends, “Don’t be a stumbling block.” She meant don’t do anything bad that might change their image of you as a Christian.”
“We wait for people to come to our institutions called churches. Sure, we advertise, put banners up, and do social media blasts welcoming others to come in. But there’s a dozen different messages once you go into the church, very few of which are declaring people as being enough, just as they are, before God. No, they need more literature and more ritual to belong. Perhaps we need to touch the deep longing within humanity searching to belong.”
“Jesus constantly tries to free us from ourselves, from our desire to be the subject and verb of the faith sentences of our lives. And that’s a different kind of freedom, because usually we think of freedom as being freed from others – from outside events, things and people – but what about freedom from ourselves? Can we as Americans even imagine such a thing?”
“You see, the problem may not be that people don’t want to belong to the church. The problem may just be that the church doesn’t want to belong to the Christ. Perhaps we’ve been so busy worshipping Jesus we’ve forgotten to follow him.”
“Now you know why Luther was mocked when he insisted on the Real Presence of the Christ in this meal. People laughed at him and said, “If Christ is really present in the bread and wine than you might as well say he is present in the cabbage soup at the local pub.” To which Luther supposedly replied, “Yes, exactly.”
And perhaps that can give us a different perspective on the disciple’s cry, “Do you not care that we are about to perish?” The disciple’s cry speaks to more than a storm on a lake. It is the cry of all who go with Jesus, who follow Jesus to the other side. And while Jesus does calm the storm, perhaps their perishing is exactly what needs to happen.
The seeding is ongoing. Driven by the wind, the Spirit… and carried by those who may not even be aware they are carrying it. And our task, is not to figure it out, but to live in it, nest in it, and grow in it. The Mystery it seems, just won’t stop planting the seed of the kingdom inside us and around us.