Pastor Kurt here - checking in. Thanks for those who said they hoped I had a better Sunday this week. We did. Tina and I got to take a boat ride to Saugatuck with some friends. And it was beautiful. Our kids spent the week in Ohio with Tina’s family - so it was quiet. Wonderfully quiet.
But Thursday afternoon we drove down to Cleveland to pick them up. It was great to see them. I missed them. I was ready to go back to normal. But after just one hour together - I also missed the quiet of the previous week. There’s something good about going back to normal. We like things the way they were. Familiar is good. But if you are hoping things go back to normal in our world - be careful what you wish for. It’s not all good.
As a church - in some ways, we want to go back to normal. We have been able to have in-person worship for a few weeks. It’s been good to get back to the familiar - the comfortable. But maybe that’s not all such a good thing. A friend sent me an article this week from the New Yorker. In it, Bill McKibben says, ”But the point of church is not just comfort or familiarity. It is, or should be, coming to grips with the relentless radicalism of Jesus—with the gospel demand that we love our neighbors in effective ways.”
So while it’s good to be having in-person worship again - that’s not church. At least not all of it. We are the church. And God wants to use us to share the gospel. Our job isn’t to get back to normal and go to church. Our job is to BE the church. And that’s not always comfortable. In fact, it’s usually not. So in our fallen and broken world - dealing with Covid-19, the struggles of racism, and all of the other consequences of sin - what does it mean to love our neighbor? Who is your neighbor? What are we supposed to do or say - regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us? Comfortable isn’t the goal. What can we do as a church to make sure our world never goes back to some of the “normal” things we have grown accustomed to - even though we should never have allowed them to exist? It’s not our world. It’s God’s world. It’s not about us being comfortable. It’s about the gospel.
Loving our neighbor and loving our enemy are the work God has prepared for us. Let’s get back to that!!