Monday, October 25, 2004

Throwing Stones

Today, I love my church.

Or rather, I love my church. Today I'm in love with her.

I love that we'll keep worshipping half-an-hour after the preacher "officially concludes" the service, because Jesus is sweeter than lunch.

I love that our pastor isn't afraid to talk about hard issues like addiction and sexual sin.

I love that we baptise people in a horse-trough because baptism is important, even when your church meets in a high school gym.

I love that the men in our church long to be strong, proud, fighting MEN of God, and aren't satisfied with the kind of passive-faith that goes to church to make the wife happy.

I love that we value being 'real' and love each other anyway; that our pastors gave away our biggest offering to another church that needed it, because they believe in God's provision; that my college pastor can't get enough of Phillipians; and that we send our strongest leaders to the third world because seeing God's glory fill the whole earth is greater than being around your favorite people.

Mostly I love my church, because I love the church. (Thank you, Jesus, for securing her!)

I say 'Today I love my church,' because some days it's different. Some days I worry for her. Some days I know we could be (will be) more than we are today. Some days I'm outright angry at the hypocrisy, the apathy, the 'structure'... the not-yet-redeemed-ness.

And then I realize I am my church, and I see all of that stuff in me (with the addition of a judging heart), and I can't be angry; I can only be broken. Broken, I come back to Jesus, and seeing Him HIGH, I realize how low I am - how lowly we all are - how much we need each other to climb out of our lowliness - how the 'problems with my church' were real, and yet mostly just my problems: my own hypocrisy, my unwillingness to fight with my church for righteousness, instead of choosing judgement.

Lord, if I choose judgement, you will grant me judgement. And it will CRUSH me, before I have the chance to cast my stone. Help me fear You enough to choose love.

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