Give up on the church? I’d like to. It would be easy. If you have read some of my previous posts you would know that I’ve been hurt by the church. Maybe you’ve been hurt by the church too. Maybe you’ve given up on the church. Even though I have given up on certain congregations, I can’t give up on the church. When I consider the church, I see the hurt but I also see the “great cloud of witnesses” mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. I see a purse always filled with gum and kind eyes that welcome me. I see an old lady who lowers hereself into small seats week after week to teach a few children the truth about her Savior. I see a large car driven by a widow and filled with neighborhood children on their way to church. I see an old couple singing together after more than 50 years of marriage. I hear the warbling voices of saints singing off key. I hear the same prayers for the adult children to come back to the Lord they knew as children. I smell the stench of an unkempt family who is always welcome. I smell Kool-Aid and sandwich cookies left over from a week that a small group of volunteers planned for the neighborhood. Give up on the church? I can’t because of those who never gave up on me.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV