Cindy on June 25, 2008 at 1:02 pm
I was sitting around a table the other day sharing a meal and conversation with friends, when the topic of a past church popped up. Someone was remembering a conversation about why that church did not want to perform weddings. It seems that the powers-that-be felt that it was too risky. Because, after all, if the church opened its doors for weddings, it would be opening up a can of worms. You see, at that point, anyone could walk through those doors. A gay couple, for instance might want to get married. Or people wanting to drink alcohol might show up! And, oh ya, what if people want to smoke? Or, shock and dismay, what if they were tattooed?
What would they do about those types of people?
Then the very next morning I attended our home church. The entire message was a blinding contrast to the conversation from hours before. The pastor was imploring us to go out, not only into our community, but into other communities near and far, and be a part of changing lives (keep in mind this isn’t the plea of a church who needs more bodies, because at any given service it is standing room only). He said that our church was going to provide a celebration service inside of another church, in an impoverished community, that has stood empty for the past two decades. He invited us all to go and be a part of it. To bring joy into silence.
He continued to encourage us to search and find people anywhere. Go beyond our comfort zones. Go out beyond our manicured lawns, and city boundaries, and find those that need to be loved and cared for.
Go to the slums.
Go to the homeless.
Go to the HIV/AIDS homes.
Live out the great commission.
Extend your arms and reach out.
What a dichotomy. In one church we have; Let’s keep our doors closed, so as not to allow unclean in, and then in the other church we have; Let’s not only fling our doors wide open, but go out and bring them back!
I plan on being a part of the celebration service in that other town. It is definitely outside of my comfort zone. It’s an area I would not normally feel safe, and probably wouldn’t linger in for too long. But, by going I can possibly make a difference. I may not have much to offer, but I can smile and be a welcoming face to those that probably don’t see smiles very often, nor feel welcomed in too many places.
A church’s job should be to welcome any and all, and no one should have to be spotless to walk through the doors, because then, no one could enter.
Category: Religion & Faith |