The Messy Garden of Church
Because of the recent sermon series I'm preaching, I've been thinking and writing a lot about the Church this week, and what it means to be part of a faith community.
If you are interested in engaging in the sermon series, you can check out the first installment by CLICKING HERE.
I was reading the newest book by Bruce Feiler this morning and something he wrote about the state of relationships in our current culture jumped off the page at me:
"We have fewer friends, studies have shown, fewer people we can confide in, fewer people we can turn to in times of trouble. Depression rates have surged; unhappiness is rampant; suicide is at an all time high."
Could it be that the more we trade face-to-face engagement for screen time, and virtual connections, the farther apart we get from others, and the more alone we feel?
The ground breaking psychologist Erich Fromm offered these prophetic words that speak directly into this struggle: "We are social creatures," he asserted, "made anxious by our separateness."
In the book of Hebrews, the author speaks to some early Christians exhorting them to keep coming together, to not fall into isolation. He writes:
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The bottom line? I think the Church is needed now more than ever. We need it in all of it's messiness because we need one another. And when we gather together in a faith community with other broken, messy people who are stumbling after Jesus, amazing things can happen.
Erin Wasinger paints a beautiful picture of what it's like to have a real, connected faith community--a church you can call home.
"...we're not delicate tulips growing vulnerably in a pot. We're in a muddy garden, growing in clumps. We knot our roots together to protect each other from washing away in a downpour."
If you don't have a faith community to call your own, find one. Find the right one, filled with people who will embrace you, invite you on the journey and who will knot their roots with yours to help you hang on.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.