September 1, 2019 - INSCRIPTIONS FROM THE HEART
Church – Is it the first or last place you’d rather be?
If you’re a regular attender, the answer is a no-brainer. For the uninitiated, or those who have been burned by “church,” the answer may be too embarrassing to any good church-going person.
A young mom just beginning to explore God’s grace, who admits to selling her pre-schooler daughter for prostitution at one point, refuses to go to church. Says she, “why will I go to church, I feel terribly enough as it is…” (paraphrased from Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace). More often than we care to admit, grace is scarce in the place (church) where it should abound.
Shouldn’t the (our) church resemble the character of its Founder? After all, outcasts flocked around Jesus – that’s what got Him in trouble with the church-going, synagogue-going faithful during His time. He had meals with sinners. Jesus allowed people with shady backgrounds touch Him. He became friends with some people in the establishment, popularly known as public enemy. We have hymns and choruses with the theme: Jesus friend of sinners… man of sorrows. Is our church anywhere close to this?
What’s a church to do? to be? Is it for squeaky-clean saints, the theologically astute, the Scripturally saturated? Is it for sinners, forgiven, but still slugging through the mess we’re in called everyday living?
If a first-time guest checked out CEAC, would he or she notice anything different in here from say, one’s favorite restaurant, a bar, mosque, temple, synagogue, cathedral, store, shop, or pub? What place would be the first or last pick?
Doesn’t the Bible say? We should all pray unceasingly and teach God’s Word. Given all the spiritual attributes in the apostle Paul’s epistles, we can provide help to meet the needs of God’s community.
Together, we do the Commander-in-Chief’s last instruction: recruit people everywhere, turn them into followers, baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teach them everything Jesus taught. We do this in an atmosphere and attitude of loving one another as proof of our claim that we love God.
If you’re still looking for your ‘preferred church,’ read this article over again – better yet; read the gospels and the early Acts of the apostles.
May CEAC be all about Jesus and His agenda. May CEAC be as attractive and draw the seeking ones just like Jesus. So help us … oh God!