A View of Church
There are so many different views of the church. Some will see it as big business with stage,
lights, sound systems and lots of manufactured excitement. Some will see it as the mercy
of God from one person to another. We tend to see church as what has happened to us in
the past. If our interaction with people was positive, then we can see the love of God. If it
was negative, then we see nothing but hypocrites.
What if we were told that Jesus built this church? We know the theory, that Jesus claimed he
would build his church, but do we really believe he built the one we are sitting in now? We
agree in principle, but is Jesus building and fitting us into a temple in the Holy Spirit in this
place? Why can’t we see what Jesus is building right now? The answer is in the parables
Jesus told in Matthew 13. In the parable of the sower, there are people who have thorns and
rocks. The people with rock are the ones who come and are excited, but they don’t stay. The
ones with thorns stay, but they never get involved and never produce anything useful. They
don’t leave, but they are the ones we see every week that have too many good things in
their life to really be committed to being an active part of Jesus’ church. In that parable only
25% of the people who heard the word of God are considered the good soil. The dragnet of
fish and the tares in the same chapter tells the same story. The good committed people are
mixed in with the hypocrites and the uncommitted. From the outside, it looks like a mess.
Realize the Jerusalem church is the one who didn’t take care of their widows. The Galatian
churches had trouble with false teachers. Ephesus had lost their first love. We tend to idolize
them when they are just like where we are.
We tend to see the worst first rather than seeing through to what God is really doing.
Nehemiah built walls, in the middle of a destroyed city, from the rubble. In the middle of all
the rubble of destruction by sin, Jesus is building his church. He is building it in the middle
of a fallen world. He is looking for people of faith among those who have experienced the
pain and loss of love. They are accused, talked about, and judged. When everyone else
tells them,they are worthless, they still believe in God who gives mercy. They still believe in
a place where they can be accepted for what God can make of them rather than what they
have made of themselves. They believe mercy triumphs over judgment. They believe Jesus
reigns from heaven as king of his kingdom. In the middle of a corrupt world, there is light that
shines in the darkness, and he has given us the right to become children of God.