Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.1 Corinthians 12: 14
Isn’t it great, we’re not on our own in our faith, we belong to a worldwide band of believers. That’s a wonderful thought, at any time night or day around the world there are people praising and worshipping God. Doesn’t it fill you with warm fuzzies that there is all this worship and praise all over this planet.
So how come churches point the finger at other churches? Why do we see the sin in other people but not ourselves.? We have our strengths mapped out on our sleeves and our weaknesses hidden where no one can see them. It is no wonder the church of Christ is disjointed.
Would it not be better to be honest in the weaknesses of our churches and as individuals so we can openly, transparently work on them? I spend a lot of my time listening to people, listening to the nuance and tone of their voices, it is important to me to hear what they are really saying not just the words that come out of their mouth. That is a writer’s fault, I extrapolate a nuance into a standpoint, a tone into a personality trait.
I am at the point in my writing where I have things to say but the stories I want to share may not be mine, there is only so much you can extract from a once broken and now newly made person. I don’t particularly wish to be vilified for my past, as it is gone, forgotten, the slate wiped clean. This newly made person makes mistakes, I sin, I ask for forgiveness and I try really hard not to re-sin. I wonder about published writers, the stories they share that aren’t their own, surely the people who know them can see themselves in the tales. I don’t want to write about people’s former lives before they were newly made, I am learning from their present condition. I often leave a fellowship session with more questions than answers, sometimes about the topic addressed but also about people’s language, the terms used, the prejudices shown, the sound of the words in their mouths. I don’t mean that I am so wise and they unwise, I see in their stories truths in my own story and yet their stories are about other people.
There is one fellowship session I attend where it is totally open and raw, I don’t leave there wondering because I am comfortable in it that I can share, I can ask questions, I can reproach and I can be reproached; it is beautiful. This week a potential deal-breaker was delivered to me by email from this fellowship, I was dumbstruck not only by the content but also that I had given the impression that I would like to receive the missive. However I trusted in the Lord and began a dialogue regarding the content. It was more important for me to be in truth than the potential fallout that could ensue. There are not a lot of topics that hurt me as a human that people think like that. By my reproach the letter was read thoroughly and with discernment. The matter is resolved, we have moved on. That’s fantastic, that is wonderful, Christians can find common ground, move on and grow.
Maybe churches could learn from that – keep it open, keep it raw, reproach in love and accept reproach in love. Imagine a world wide band of believers under one banner – the church of Christ, now that is a warm fuzzy.