rick & 1j13
Sunday, July 06, 2003
There is such a diversity of Christians and Christian life in the world today. I know I'm biased in my perspective towards what the western world has called "church," but I hope I don't lose out on some of what's going on elsewhere in the world.

Anyway, I enjoyed our time together as a congregation this morning. There are those who do not enjoy church - I'm not one of them. There are people who hurt, others who don't "get it," and others who come for show and pomp and circumstance. But we're together, and there's something real and positive in that. We sing together, dance together, clap together, stomp together. We're challenged together - this morning, to consider the question "What Is Your Life?" from James 4:14. We give together, pray for people together, lay hands on others together. We ate donuts together, drank coffee together - amen?

I see folks hurting and offended and not going to church. It bothers me about the state of the church that will turn people off and turn them away like that. And I see folks who "don't do church" - it's just not their thing, not that big of a deal. that bothers me about the people and how they've been blinded to their need for time well spent with the people of God. And I see people... or don't see them enough... how let everything on the calendar come in the way of their participation in the life of a local body of the children of God. I hurt for these people, knowing that there's nothing short of real discipline and real trouble that will probably work in turning their hearts towards God and the rest of us.

There's just something about getting up and going to church. Something about seeing genuine smiles on happy people, and genuine tears on those who are mourning. There's a depth in seeing someone set free, and a challenge in opening the Word and hearing in the Spirit what the Lord is saying to us together.
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