It’s a beautiful day here in the land of snowy wonder. We’ve been hit by another storm. My appointments for the day are cancelled. Life has come to a halt and I’m enjoying it.
I think I like these snow days because I’m safe. I like being nestled in my house all cozy and warm with nothing to do or worry about. I’m happy here. It’s comfortable. It’s set up just the way I like it. I’m definitely someone who likes things the way I like them.
I think I’m a little like that in faith too. I like my church a certain way. When I fill in at other churches and the order is different I’m okay with it but not completely comfortable. There is familiarity in routine. The songs we sing, the scriptures we read, the people we greet on Sunday mornings are familiar to us. It matters not whether our church is modern or traditional, contemporary or blended. Every Sunday we get up, get in our cars and drive to where we experience the same thing. Every Sunday we go to our happy place. A place of comfort. A place where we can settle into the pew and know exactly what to expect.
Today for some reason (perhaps it’s because it’s sermon preparation day and I’m in avoidance mode) I’ve been mulling over this in my head. I do not think that Jesus ever said ‘Things will stay the same year in and year out and you can be sure that no matter what you will always be comfortable’.
Jesus challenged us. Jesus is the guy who comes into the church and says ‘Let’s change everything!’. Jesus wants us to be different. He wants us to be willing to risk everything. Think about this. He called his disciples away from their families. As a group they travelled from town to town, from synagogue to synagogue. No place what his home. He wanted to reach as many people as possible and held gatherings, he taught, healed, prayed, laughed and cried with the people he was trying to reach. Jesus did change everything. He lived his faith every moment of the day. He was different. He was what we should be.
So as we drive to church this Sunday and settle into our pews what do we make of this. When we are so attached to our buildings that we cannot let go and use all the money we have keeping it going instead of for service, who are we serving? When we are so attached to our buildings that we say things like ‘I will never go to church anywhere else’, what are we saying? When we refuse to see the bigger picture because of our own comfort, what does this mean?
Imagine what we could do if we all came together. Imagine if in our struggles we started a new ministry. A ministry where we made different styles and ideas equal and accessible. Imagine if we came together and had the man power to actually do great things. If we had enough people who were able and willing to commit to working for Christ our world could be changed in such a positive way. Imagine what would happen if we stopped arguing about who had a better worship style, who’s interpretation of scripture was better and who’s music was more ‘holy’. What would happen if we followed Christ instead of our comfort? What would happen if we really pushed past ourselves and became the servants we were called to be?
All these thoughts and questions from avoiding a sermon. Probably should get to work now. It’s stopped snowing anyways….