where is the church big enough for everybody? Jesus help us. sometimes we're our own worst enemies. we pray for lost people to come, and then they come, and based on our rating system, we think it's inappropriate. it doesn't fit our ideal. 'you don't smell right, look what she's wearing, my God, look how he's talking, that's inappropriate.' and we see them, and i stop seeing me."
and before i know, i'm standing at an altar somewhere, praying a pompous prayer, 'God, thank you i'm not like that man'; [God:] 'no, you are like that man! apart from my grace and my choosing, you are that man on the street corner, you're the man in the cardboard box who's lost his wife, his children won't talk to him, and he's on the streets, you are that man sir!' that's me. that's you! we gotta level the playing field. we've got people hurting. we've got people broke. we've got people dying! and we're busy ranking sins! no! a thousand nos!!
'here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of which i am the worst of them all!' [1 timothy 1:15]
this is my prayer:
help me see me, and not them."
woow. now that's a message. i pray that we become less concerned about what or who doesn't "fit" in our churches and find ways to meet people where they are at. i admit that i'm not good at this, that this is a major area of struggle. but i don't want to see a comfortable church - and that means i don't want to be "comfortable" either. i want to make myself available so that He can use me to welcome in those who don't have a place, who don't seem to "fit" anywhere, and show them that, in fact, they fit perfectly in the Father's lap.
see more from judah smith at the city church, seattle, here.