I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking about the church – not the institution or organization, but US…’the church’. By that I mean all of us who believe that Jesus is the son of God. That his message is true. That he came to give us real life. And that he has called us to be his followers/disciples…his image bearers in this world.
And I wonder…
I wonder about our different approaches to Scripture and doctrine. How we can read the same words and yet be miles apart on what those words are saying?
I wonder how it is that we can have this insatiable thirst for reading Scripture, studying it to the nth degree…and yet we forget or choose not to ‘do’ Scripture.
I wonder why we think we have God all figured out when we can’t even figure ourselves out.
I wonder why us leaders of churches never ask the question: “Why do we do what we do on Sunday mornings and during the week?
I wonder how it is that we are the ones that answered Jesus’ invitation to ‘Come to me all you who are worn out…’, and yet us Christians are some of the most worn out people around?
I wonder how it is that we can think we have it all right, and yet the way we treat others in the world you’d swear we have it all wrong.
I wonder why those who are not followers seem to be attracted to Jesus and yet want nothing to do with his church. Come to think of it, I wonder why there are so many Christians who are so attracted to Jesus and yet want nothing to do with his church?
But what we don’t see is the ‘church within the church’. I think of it as the ‘silent church’. This has nothing to do with the institution or organization, it’s the followers of Jesus who meant what they said when they said ‘yes’ to Jesus’ invitation. They quietly go about their day-to-day lives, bringing the gospel through their actions and words to a hurting and bruised world.
They may not have taken all the Bible studies, nor attended every meeting or conference that’s offered, nor served in a leadership position. They have fallen in love with Jesus and they are the ones that are bringing real change to our world.
And so I wonder if the real church is the subversive one that is going about life doing little things with great love. They don’t have all the answers to our theological questions. They haven’t figured out who’s in and who’s not. They simply love God, love Jesus, are filled with his Spirit, and rather than trying to figure the church out, they are being the church.