Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Can't They Clean Up Some Before We Let Them In?

I was listening to a friend earlier today talking about how the church tends to not want to deal with those that aren’t like them - those that might not have enough money to dress the same as church folks do, or if they don’t have all their ducks in a row personally - maybe they are addicted to something - maybe they’re addicted to many somethings. Or maybe they’re not the right color - or maybe we just don’t understand them because they come from a different background or culture. No matter the reason, many times we just keep those people at arms length. The gist of his comments were that if we are going to do that, then we have forgotten from whence we came. We have forgotten that we were dirty before God. That we were unacceptable before God. That we were rebellious against God. That we had no business coming before a God Who is perfect expecting anything. Heck, even as Christians, we’re still sinful and unacceptable but for the fact that Jesus took brunt of punishment for our sin. And that’s the point. That God accepted us right where we were at - sin and all. We stunk, possibly literally, to high heaven to Him - we smelled REALLY bad. Because we were stuck in the rubbish of our sin. And we were unable to do anything to improve our standing with Him. But He still accepted us. In fact, the Bible says that while we were still in willful rebellion against Him, Christ died for us.

So... what makes us think we can treat those that "smell" bad to us any differently?

God give us courage to step forward to lend a helping hand to someone we really don’t want to help. They “smell” to us - we don’t like them. Yet you LOVE them. Empower us to show that love of yours that we are unable to show on our own. After all, You Lord, hung out with those that the establishment religion abhorred - and you chastised them for being unwilling to help the sick - those that needed you. Let us not be the modern day version of that religious establishment. Let us take Your love to those that need it - regardless of their station in life and regardless of the barriers that we create to keep us from doing what you would want us to do.


Anonymous said...

good words...

and I was wondering when you'd write again.

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of an inner city church that is such a beautiful mix of people from the streets. Several serve as board members as they came to understand the love of God. a beautiful modern day story of the gospels of Jesus picking up the fishermen and tax collectors.

This is where I see the beauty. Thank you for the very thing that is still so prominent in the minds of people.