Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday morning thoughts. . .

I often wonder if the church remembers Jesus.

When it comes time to plan its work, spend its money, provide instruction to its members or decide how it will "be" in our world; I have to wonder if the church remembers, knows, regards Jesus, the one the church and all of its members claim to follow.

Consider one short text:

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.

"I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"

Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
(Mark 1:40-42)

No one touched lepers.

No one, at least not intentionally. The Law of Moses made such an act a violation of the law and rendered such a person "unclean," and thus, untouchable as well.

No one identified with outcasts and untouchables to the point of joining them in their outcast misery.

No one but Jesus.

Jesus was not about doctrine, ceremony, religion, tradition, polling data, denominational politics or up-tight legal performance.

Jesus was into touching people who needed to be touched.

He never backed away from anyone.

He never considered the personal cost of personal involvement.

He never quit.

Jesus didn't care what people thought.

Jesus touched people.

So, today as I prepare to go to church, I wonder if the church remembers Jesus, the one it claims to follow?

Read back over my brief description of Jesus.

Do you know a church that acts like that today? If you do, I hope you'll be there this morning and often.

If you don't, just remember Jesus.


Anonymous said...

What would Jesus think of our monstrous cathedrals and mega-churches? Our multi-million dollar campaigns to buy land and erect monuments to our church body's wealth, lining the pockets of developers and construction companies while not doing anything for the poor other than giving them another building to look at (and probably not feel welcome in)?

KentF said...

Churches, particularly big city churches, cater to Christians with money. I remember when I first set foot in a Dallas church in 1984. I was wearing some older cord-type slacks, a printed shirt and one of those knit ties we used to wear. As someone fresh out of college - I obviously missed the memo on the Navy blazer, gray wool slacks, crisp white or navy shirt - heavy starch only - and striped tie. I still recall to this day some 22 years later the looks I got that Sunday morning. Needless to say that was the last Sunday I dressed that way - the next Sunday I was in full conformance. I always remember sadly watching other men fresh out of college go through the same experience. Jesus would have felt uncomfortable in that church because he wasn't an upper-middle income white person.

Jim Martin said...

A great post. A great question: "Does the church remember Jesus?"

An important reminder. Thanks.