A Church of Rainbows

Who we are as a church is full of contrasting ideas traditional, experimental, colourful and bland. The church can both engage with society and be isolationist.

It may be your opinion that it would be so much better if the global  church or denomination looked more like the one you attend. But we are not consistent, there is not one image of church or one way of being.

Even in our own denominations, whilst there is a level of conformity; there is still a difference. To me at least this should be celebrated, not belittled.

Globally the church appeals to people from all walks of life, all languages, all temperaments. Yet in our own denominational back yard, in our corner of the world, do we keep in mind that broad ecclesiological  reality. Or slip instead into the churchmanship that believes ours is the right way and yours is not?

Historically we find the church can be intolerant of difference, instead we are all to quick to press the conformity button. In some places that it is
changing now, praise the Lord.

 

Together with all our misshapen ideas of how the church should be and the correct way that faith should be lived out. Sometimes we forget that the bible doesn’t teach us that Jesus conformed to society, instead he always conformed to the will of his father.

Looking at church today I wonder if sometimes the yeast of the Pharisee is still as prevalent today as it was in Jesus time (not a good thing). We may know stories of that person who didn’t quite fit and what happened to him or her.

Anne didn’t fit in church because she had to have a special chair and rather than a welcome at the door, she received glances of disdain.unknown

Andy was asked to leave a small group because he was a church lay leader and it wasn’t appropriate for him to be there.

Martin watched his fellow students with academic credentials sail through college whilst his creativity and out of the box thinking was looked on with suspicion. 

Recently I have been reading the prodigal God, which is based on the story of the prodigal son. It argues that both sons felt they were entitled. But that the point was that they were loved regardless of their actions or attitudes.

No matter how they publicly disgraced their family name and their father. He still showed generosity, letting one son find himself and the other he begged to join in the party.

Do we love like that as a church or as disciples?  A love that is eternal, pure and harder than nails, that challenges us to change, and to rub off our ecclesiastical and personal rough edges.

That we might become the full vibrant, lively and broad church we think we want to become. Where all genuinely find a home, where all come before Christ as a disciple and find renewal of life, renewed purpose, and personal healing.

Final prayer

I don’t want to be part of a church that is the same, but instead one that helps all people find a home in God. I want to be part of the solution that brings a change that opens our doors not closes them. I want to put down my own baggage of how things should be, and pick up my cross with Jesus, that through all I do in his name I might die that others may have life in Him.

Amen

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