Monday, November 23, 2015

THE GOOD OF BEING IN CHURCH

Yesterday morning we headed to church as we do most Sundays.  It should be noted that getting up and out the door is not always easy.  Scratch that - it is never easy.  We have to get out of bed, which John and I do not exactly love to do.  Then, we have to clothe and feed our off-spring, not all of whom are always willing participants in this process.  The drive comes next, and it often involves at least one screaming child.  We are usually late, because of the part where John and I never start early enough.

So, we roll into church, drop off our four children in their Sunday school classes, and then drop into our own seats in the already darkened service.  It's a lot of work, but I'm here to say that it is worth it.

I know that many people in my generation have given up on church.  They've been burned and believe that church is full of hypocrites and judgment.  Sometimes this is true, because the truth is that we all screw up.  Hypocrisy and judgment plague my own heart, and I'm so thankful that Jesus chooses to redeem those things in my life.  There are politics in church, because churches are full of people - sinners one and all.  Any place where lots of people regularly gather will have its issues, because people are messy and real life is complicated.  There are misunderstandings, and sometimes people treat one another poorly - even in church - the place that should be safe.

But- it is worth being a part of the body of Christ, and I'm so thankful to get to worship with other believers regularly.  I sat in our service a few weeks ago so blessed by this knowledge.  I looked around the room - blown away by the stories I was surrounded by.

They are hard stories.  Babies that have died.  Husbands and wives that have failed their spouses.  Adoptions that have fallen through.  Cancer that has claimed loved ones.  I could see these stories written in the faces around me.

"But God."  I love that phrase - there can be such horror, BUT GOD wants to make it right.  But God is waiting to write a bigger story for our good and his glory.

So, I can see the pain all around, But God writes stories of redemption on top of the loss and pain.  He walks closely to those who are suffering.  He is gracious and merciful to those who repent.  He is full of love and favor for his children.  I got to see each of the people who have lived those stories worshipping the Lord.  And it was and is beautiful.  There is something so powerful about witnessing beauty from ashes, and I'm so thankful to be able to be in church with people who are by no means perfect, but who are seeking the Lord and what he has for their lives.

It's good to be in church.  It's not perfect or always fun, but it is good, and I'm thankful.

0 comments: