Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sometimes Even The Church Can't Mess It Up

You may have noticed the quote at the top of the blog by Martin Luther. (The 16th century reformer, not the 20th century civil rights leader. That would be Martin Luther KING, Jr. Though I don't think the simiarity to names is an accident)

The quote goes something like this,

"The Church is a whore, but she's my mother."

That quote sums up the fact that often the church has been at its worst, causing violence and perpetuating institutions and actions that actually harm, rather than redeem.

But even in the darkest hour, there have been reformers, prophets who have called the remnant back to the basics of what she was intended to be. There were those who believed we were capable of something more, something so much better.

Well I've witnessed a little bit of it this week in our local community.

We have a single mom who's going in for surgery. She is heroic. She works 2 jobs, sometimes more. Scratched and clawed and saved enough and providentially was able to buy a little bungalow for her and a teenage son.

Today she's going in for surgery and will be off of work for several weeks.

This morning I had several of the ladies at church remind me that we need to step up and help her out. They were mothering her and me, in the best sense of the word. I assured them we were on top of it and had started the process of getting meals ready for the family.

Sunday when we announced a need for folks to sign-up and bring meals, the first person to volunteer was a young lady. She lives 40 minutes away from our church, but started attending 4 weeks ago. The distance requires that the family leave their home by about 9 AM, on a day they could just as easily sleep in. And as a 2-career couple, they'd probably enjoy a few extra hours of sleep. But no, not on Sunday. For the past 4 weeks they've gotten up early on Sunday, jumped in the family vehicle, and headed 40 miles down I-94. And this past Sunday, she volunteered to bring a meal to a family she's never met.

I don't know about you, but that seems to me to be the type of thing Jesus intended when he said, "whatever you've done to the least of these my brothers, you've done it unto me."

THAT is the type of story that makes me think there is still hope for the Church.

THAT is the type of story that makes me hope you'll keep looking till you find (and help create) such a place, if you have been tempted to give up on "organized religion". (And really, who of us hasn't?)

Grace & peace

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