I know, this blog goes all over the place. Last time I talked about sports talk radio. This time around, I'm talking about church. Like I stated when I first started this, it's about anything and everything and what I can basically write about without getting into trouble. So bear with me for a few minutes...
For the past several Sundays this summer, I have been reminded about what the Church is. A little backstory on me...I've been basically raised in church. I was about 8 yrs old when I understood how Jesus took our sins and died on the cross so that we could be His Sons and Daughters. It's just taken me basically 30+ years to retrain my brain from all the "interesting" teachings I have heard over the years.
My family is basically the Heinz 57 of Christianity. My maternal grandmother was very staunch Church of Christ, my Grandpa was Pentecostal Holiness before he married Grandma, My Dad and his family were raised Lutheran...we were in the non-denominational/Full Gospel/Charismatic/whatever circles for many years...I've spent a little time in Baptist and Church of God (Cleveland, TN) congregations just to name a few.
And I've been burned by a few people too over the years...but not physically. It was from people who were what I like to call "so spiritual they are no earthly good", who thought their droppings brought forth a pleasant odor (to keep it PG-rated) and who force-fed their doctrine down your throat like it was Grandma's cure-all Castor Oil. Every time I thought I was in a congregation where I was comfortable, God would be like "uhhh, Rob. That's not where I want you."
Now I'm in a place where I know I feel safe. From the first Sunday I stepped in at First Christian Church, everyone has been very welcoming and very friendly (the fact that a lot of people in the community knew me from school/Chamber/Radio probably helped to that effect). Even after the transition from Doyle Kinney to Jeff McDowell, there has not been one Sunday that I've attended (outside of that month where I was in Little Rock) where there's been any tension. Yes, I've had someone ask me why I would go there and tell me that I should go back to the former congregation I was at, but last I checked it was Christ that died for me and it's God Almighty that I worship, not "Sister Snoopy".
I titled this particular blog after a little song I learned several years ago "I am the Church, you are the Church, we are the Church together", because the early Church, the Church that is talked about in Acts is an "ecclesia", a movement...it's not the big brick building on the corner of 28th and Custer with a steeple on it. It's people like you and me, united in one accord worshipping our Savior and thanking Him for all He has done for us. Church is going out to help those whose lives were shaken in the tornadoes in Moore a couple of months ago. Church is ministering to that person sitting in lockup at the County Jail waiting to be sent to Big Mac or to wherever the State of Oklahoma feels they should go to "pay their debt to society". Church is reaching out to the "town drunk" and seeing his life dramatically turn around and serving God. I could go on, but I'm called to do another ministry...picking up after the dog. :)
Until next time....