Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why Going to Church Should Be More Like Going to a Baseball Game

I love baseball.  I love to watch it on tv, I love to go to a game.  This summer, when we go back to Illinois to visit my oldest son and my parents I hope to go to a Cubs game as well as a Rockford Riverhawks game.  About 2 years ago, my husband, daughter, youngest son, and a good friend all went to a Cubs game, and something about the atmosphere there struck me.  There was a feeling of ultimate camaraderie.  Although I only knew the other 4 people I was with, I felt like everyone there was on my side.  This got me to thinking, isn't this what Church should be like?  So I sat down and composed a list of reasons why going to Church should be like going to a baseball game.  It is not exhaustive, and I am sure if I had given myself more time I might be able to think up more.

Here are my reasons (in no particular order) why going to Church should be more like going to a baseball game:

1.  High fives when exciting things happen.  High fives for everyone, not just those you came with (this was an exciting part for my daughter.  Something exciting happened- the Cubs actually looked like they might do something ha,ha- and I looked over at my daughter who was high 5ing everyone around her).

2.  Everyone is excited to be there.  No one is there out of duty or obligation.

3.  Everyone sings loudly, regardless of ability.

4.  Food.  And cup holders in the seats.

5.  All ages are there together.  There is no "jr. baseball game" or "teen baseball game" going on at the same time.  Young and old are there cheering the team on together.

6.  No one cares if your child has to use the bathroom 5 times.  (This really happened to me.  Our son had to get up at least 5 times throughout the game.  I kept apologizing to the people down the row and they all said, "No problem! It's part of the game!")

7.  Love of the game is passed down from generation to generation.  This ties in to number 5.  How can you pass down something you love if you are not allowing your child or grandchild to see how much you love it and experience it with you?

8.  People cheer loudly when good things happen, and they suffer together when things don't go our way.

This is my list.  Can you think of any others?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Loving the Church

Loving the Church
So, I know the Bible says we are supposed to love the Church as Christ did. But man, She sure doesn’t make it easy! At least the Bride from my neck of the woods (North America), that is. Because lately, I see the Church as more like Hosea’s wife Gomer than I do the beautiful bride of Christ.  I see a people more interested in spreading gossip than they are the Gospel.  I see a people more concerned with their own welfare than that of the poor. I see a people who are more than willing to compromise the biblical truths about unity, love, gossip, lying, etc. as long as they don’t drink, smoke, or swear.  We are more concerned with how we look than how others feel.
But, even as I write these words, I know the truth.  The truth is I am just as guilty, and yet, I still want God to love me and see me as sanctified and pure.  So, in this season (frankly, a season that has lasted about 10 years) of my life, I am once again reminded that I don’t forgive others for their sake, but for mine.  I know my heart and it is black as coal. And when I judge and condemn others, I do it from a hard and rotten heart.
So I ask God for forgiveness of my sin and to teach me to forgive others their sins against me.  Because when it is all said and done, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  When it is all over, I don’t want to have to worry about my own personal vindication. I want to have confidence in my fruit.