Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Church [as I know it]

I was walking across campus with a coworker yesterday and she mentioned that her church will be having a guy dressed as Santa there this weekend to pose for pictures with kids. I did a double take and told her I thought that was odd, considering Santa isn't exactly what the church believes Christmas is about. She said something like, "Well, our pastor just wants to get more people to come to the church."

I'll admit it. I got a little self-righteous in that moment.

I said something like, "Well...I'd never do something like that to get people to come." I wanted to tell her the church isn't a building that we try to get people to come visit. The church is a living, breathing body of believers, and it is most alive and in its place when it spends time outside the four walls of a building, helping people right where they are. It is the hundreds of believers that jumped in to help with the power restoration this weekend, assessing the damage and needs of thousands upon thousands of households. It is the people who have taken in dozens of others into their homes so they don't have to cope with freezing temperatures and depressing darkness in their own houses. It's the helping hands lent, the embraces offered, the interventions made, the love given, the joy shared. The building a body of believers owns, if anything, is a headquarters from which we go out.

But who am I to point this out when I rarely do it myself? I get so wrapped up with work and freelancing and seeing friends and (yes) going to church events that I forget we are meant to be light-bearers in a dark world. To live every moment in the mentality that we are representing Jesus. To challenge myself to look at people through His eyes and to allow my heart to break with what breaks His.

That said, I am beginning to understand what it means to burn again. To be moved. To be alive. To be aflame with the love of Christ and the holiness He possesses. To drive away the darkness and to bring warmth to those who are in such desperate need of it. To hear their story, to realize they can help me as much as I can help them...and to somehow make a difference for this upside Kingdom of which I am a part.

Will you join me?


Blogger Brad said...

Hey...there's that "upside down kingdom" stuff again.

I like your stuff Rachel.


6:59 PM  
Blogger tmamone said...

I tend to forget that too sometimes. Thanks for sharing.

8:17 AM  

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