A lot of people in the world say they don’t believe in Jesus and don’t love Christianity because of the christians they’ve known and I think its time they try another source.
Because we are really actually more broken than I think we realize, and American Christianity can feel more like a synonym for the Republican Party than anything— more legalistic, walking faith out like its a law of judgment to inflict on the world personally, rather than to see the grace story that unfolded on the cross.
Sometimes we strive more to fight for causes and make the world around us what we think it should be when maybe if we were sitting beside Jesus he would ask us to sit down for a while with Him and lets just dig through your own brokenness before trying to fix the world.
Maybe our scrambling to fix everything and everyone else is our actually running and hiding from our own messy overgrown lives. It’s always easier to nit pick everyone else, isn’t it? So we keep running with our social injustice fighting outside voices and Christ is sitting on the bench and He’s waiting quietly for us to join him, gently waving us over but we’re just busy running to everyone else’s doors with our hurt voices reflecting hurting tones.
We’re sending our missionaries overseas, being called to the missions, which in our minds is anywhere but America The Great and maybe Jesus is really saying fix your home, child.
We talk about going to the ends of the earth with the Gospel and maybe that’s here, too. Maybe its your neighbor, your city, or the city next door. Maybe its your family. And you know what? Maybe it’s you.
When we walk in the American church, do we see people caught up in adhering to the latest fashion trends, making the most friends, joining the coolest small groups and surrounding themselves by the people who have something for us to gain? When we walk into the American church, do we see joy trailblazing paths for people, changing garbage bags and doing inconvenient thing in a different, I-just-want-to-love-you-best way? And maybe the problem is just this. That to meet the church, we have to walk into a church.
I know there are differences. I know there are exceptions. But do you ever wish the opposite problem were true? That the church was so alive but every once in a while you’ll come across an exception to the lively kind?
Maybe the power of the cross that will raise the dead, make blind eyes see, heal the sick, make the lame walk, is actually shoved ten layers deep underneath shame of rocking the boat, embarrassment of the idea of being bold enough to be opposed or stand out, and our fear of looking cool and composed and positioned. Maybe the power of the cross is sitting in the walls we’ve built around the church.
Lately I’ve been sick of wearing make up, which sounds so silly and small. But I think there is a deeper root the Lord is tying it to where He is ready to dig up the root of a tidy, put together, make up covered church. He never asked His bride to try to look good. He asked us to love him, and loving Him naturally bears fruit. Our Father is ready to break up the barriers we’ve built around the Spirit He has placed within us.
Jesus wants to save the church, the lost, the broken, the sick, the dead, the healed, the whole. He wants to save us. Are we ready to stop peeking through the windows and start entering in? Are we ready to break down the walls and plant the white flag in the heap of rubble that says you can have it all? Are we ready to place the white flag in our white picket fenced lives?
I don’t want a God America built.
I want the living God.