The current world series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets reminded me of this story. When I went to school in KC, a friend of mine at a Royals home game met a Yankees player’s wife. In conversation she said “we like to come to Kansas City when we want to get out of the city.” 🙂 Even so, go Royals!
I am so grateful for the church I get to serve. We are a simple, but complicated people. Long ago we laid down the illusion of being best, biggest, or trendiest. That statement is not a criticism of the great churches that are classified as such, its just an acknowledgement of where our boundary lines have fallen.
We adopt children, get extra degrees, participate in youth sports clubs, take as many weekend trips as possible, and volunteer at the church in between. We love our church friends, but they are only one network among several we juggle. Thank God that we can check on them through Facebook since we don’t attend the same service anymore.
We have pliable hearts to the Spirit and the Word, but struggle to hear those voices in between the neighborhood association cookouts, the school fair, and the Netflix binge. Yet, in the midst of these contextual challenges, I think we are all doing well. I find us to be loving, generous, thoughtful and pliable. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to get the most out of life and love Jesus at the same time.
One thing that bothers me about my calling is how many people I meet that have been hurt by the church. These words by Henri Nouwen give me a great perspective on how God has chosen the church, despite our weaknesses:
“Just as it seems unlikely to us that God chose to become human in a young girl living in a small, not very respected town in the Middle East nearly two thousand years ago, it seems unlikely that God chose to continue his work of salvation in a community of people constantly torn apart by arguments, prejudices, authority conflicts, and power games. Still, believing in Jesus and believing in the Church are two sides of one faith. It is unlikely but divine!”
“When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him (John 10:19).”
It is still the same today. Jesus is not easy, so he is misunderstood.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).”