Skip to content

Should I be here?

September 29, 2013

Do you sit comfortably in Church? Good! But you do realise that none of you have the right to be there, don’t you? No one reading this has any right to come to church, or pray to God or to expect anything from God.

 After all, there is nothing about you that would mean that God should listen to you or even care. In fact, after all the times that you have failed him, he owes you nothing, nothing at all. Before, anyone argues with that last statement, remember God knows even you most hidden thoughts, has every one of them been pure and holy? Of course not!

 Church is a place for Christ’s people; do you belong? Read the following account of the Crucifixion, as you do, ask yourself, “do I belong”?

The Crucifixion (Steve Turner – an amazing poet who deserves more recognition!)

 You were one with the Father.

Then the Father turned his back on you.

You felt forsaken,

hanging there between heaven’s thunder

and the dank spittle of earth.

 

For that moment you belonged nowhere.

You were love, cut off from love;

truth nailed down by lies.

You must have wanted to explode, to disintegrate,

to disappear into a void.

But that was forbidden.

And that was the test.

 

Your blood burst through your skin

and ran down like sweat.

Your sweat ran cold

and drained into your heart.

The universe caught hold of your pain.

The sun went blind with grief.

The earth shivered in shock.

History was torn in two.

 

I stood at a distance,

my collar turned up,

like a murderer witnessing

a wrongful arrest.

 So, are you sitting comfortably at your computer, never mind do you sit comfortably in church? Well I hope you are. I hope you do feel at home in church with us sinners because you are welcome there, you are welcome not because you or I have any right to be there but because Jesus has invited you.

 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners … for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me … Christ Jesus might display his immense patience. (I Timothy 1.15-16)

 What wonderful words.

 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners … for that very reason you are shown mercy so that in you … Christ Jesus might display his immense patience. (I Timothy 1.15-16)

 Now you don’t really know me, but if you did, you would know just how much patience Jesus needs with me. He needs more patience and love to save me than I can ever even dream of. But thankfully he has all that love, all that patience, and much more.

 Christ Jesus came to us not because we’re good but because we’re not. We are sinners being loved into the Kingdom. I am where I am with God, you too, all and only because of the love of the Father. The love that started at the beginning of all things, when God created, stepped back, rubbed his chin and said, “that ain’t half bad!”; or as you might have read it, when God saw that “it was very good”.

 The Father is the master craftsman who loves his work; the potter who loves his clay and has the patience to remake even the most misshapen and deformed piece of clay.

 I heard last week that the Christian faith is about a love affair with God. Or more accurately, it begins because of God’s enduring love affair with his creation and especially with the people that he made.

 So I hope you feel comfortable in church, but still let the power of God’s love challenge you. In your thankfulness for all that God has done for you in Jesus, let the Spirit work and change you. You and I need to let God make us loving like Jesus.

 We, like Jesus need to learn to love the unlovely, the tax collector, the drug dealer, the alcoholic; our fellow sinners. From God’s perspective, their failings and ours are not all that different. There but for the grace of God go I.

 No one has any right to be in God’s house, just as no one has the right to join the fellowship of God’s people. I don’t have the right neither do you. But all are called by Jesus, all are welcomed, even the ones I don’t like, even the ones I loath or even hate, all are welcomed. God has no taste, just infinite patience and love.

 The Father looks at each of us and sees his Son, there is no condemnation. All that we have from God is a free gift, not an earned reward. So I must never turn up my nose at anyone that God calls.

 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners … for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me … Christ Jesus might display his immense patience. (I Timothy 1.15-16)

 They are such words of encouragement. They are also a huge challenge. I want to be proud of who I am, what I achieve, I want me to be at the front. But I need to let al that go. Christ Jesus displays his immense patience and love in putting up with me as I learn this important lesson. Jesus has patience as the Spirit works in me to make me more like him, more holy, more godly.

 Jesus has a long way to go with me, and I suspect with you, but thankfully he has infinite patience in his work.

Advertisements
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: