Jesus tells the parable of the sower and the seed which falls on rocky ground speaks to me today. Jesus says of this seed, "It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow." (NIV)
The gospel is lavished and laced with LOVE. If you know the gospel, you know you are loved. If you spread the gospel to others, you spread love. Oh how I long to love. I really wish I loved better...loved more.
It really is hard to love everyone. "Loving your enemy" is and will always be a difficult task, but why are we so quick to run from that challenging call? I am beginning to think it is not that the Church is "no good" at it as much as I would say Christians have been conditioned to not even try. Christians have walked further and further away from the challenge to love OUR dark side of life, and we do it by HIDING. By pretending.
For too long, we have believed and maintained hope by pretending that things are not as bad as they are. We have reduced the church down to a Sunday morning event rather than an EVERYDAY community. We are content to put band-aids on every Sunday, go to 'church', and walk away with gaping wounds nobody is willing to believe actually exist.
Church is no longer an everyday community where we honestly face evil happing in our CHURCH every day; issues like abuse, marital rocks, terminal sickness, cyber-adultery, depression, flat-lining-self-esteem, doubt...sin! We are more and more reluctant to face the issues of everyday, and we leave 'church' to be a Sunday morning EVENT! We have to realize that there IS evil in our church...OUR CHURCH COMMUNITY...everyday community.
If we don't, we will watch the gospel remain a sermon that is a part of the Sunday morning event. There IS hurt, evil, and sin in our church community...in our world. We have to realize that our relationship with Christ is not intended to COVER UP the dark side of life, but rather to illuminate a path THROUGH IT! [Tweet that] We have to realize we are called as the church to be the hands and feet to love and stand before the pain. To take on the dark side of life instead of pretending it is not there. We cannot be afraid of the pain. We cannot hide from the sin, hurt and evil in our church.
We WILL be bloodied by the contact, yes! But we will be the community we are intended to be, the community which goes beyond being pumped with spiritual adrenaline on Sunday morning. Sunday morning is a congregation, but the church is an EVERYDAY COMMUNITY!!
Some of the best thoughts come through struggle. God honors our struggle and despises our tepid, lukewarm droning. We are not preschoolers who walk straight lines attached to a rope. God honors the honest struggler. There are too many Christians trying to find life through soothing their soul, but true passion is brought forth in honest struggle. Our wrestling match with God is pregnant with passion and confidence. Because God will ENFOLD AN HONEST STRUGGLER IN LOVING ARMS. The good news is that hatred of God and others decreases as Christ takes the heart inch by inch, but it comes only through honest and passionate struggle with God. We may be a new creation, but we are not a perfect creation. The war over hatred and sin may be won ultimately, but the battle to replace hatred with love will be over only when we see Jesus in flesh. We can and will be angry with God, but have to be honest without reserve. We must understand the Holy Spirit will not allow a bottomless cup of anger to exist, and most often the heart will be engulfed in love when we are honest with God.
A warning to all people who know me: my identity has been stolen. Be careful when you see "PC" because you need to determine who you are actually talking to. My identity has been stolen by an impostor, and the impostor is well-liked and very crafty. He will do all that he can to make you believe he is the real PC, but not be fooled. The impostor looks a lot like me, but he acts and reacts differently than I do. So be on the look out for a guy who looks just like me but may act or react in any variety of the following ways.
- has no opinions of his own; simply conforms - acts "okay" when things are not okay - lacks emotional honesty - is over-anxious to impress you when he doesn't have to - seems obsessed with getting your affirmation - will not tell you how he fells about...anything - acts better than he really is (to impress you) - speaks very little about his faults or struggles - demands to be noticed - will draw identity from achievement - avoids feeling - overly-passive - not creative (lacks creativity that I have) - intimidated
He may surface from time to time from hiding. If you notice this man, please report him to the proper authority. If you should come into contact with the impostor, please contact his Father (whose name is Abba) and be gentle and loving. He is harmless to most everyone but his true self, me.
Has your identity been stolen by an imposter? What should I keep an eye out for?