I wrote this response down a few weeks ago and hesitantly post it. I was talking to a friend about church and acceptance and what our role really is in the world. What should we steer clear from? What should we allow our children to be involved with or with whom? Sadly, we see a lot of judgment in the church and in our world in general. These are just the thoughts of one person who was overwhelmed by the idea that the Church can hurt itself and others more than it knows sometimes. We should be a refuge and friend, but sometimes we fail. I have and this is a reflection and self-reflection of what I have seen and feel.

Why do so many Christians think that Christians should only be-friend Christians? Then what do we become?

Heaven will be full of other Christians but a lot less full if this is the trend we keep setting.

Jesus kept company with what society would call the pariah of their culture. He loved them and gave Himself passionately for. all.

The moment we withdraw ourselves completely and set ourselves apart from the world in its entirety is the moment we fail the Great Commission. Jesus said to preach the Gospel to all the world. Not just to the choir, so to speak.

We have stopped loving the world but God IS love, so what does that make us?

We cannot bear the light of hope and grace and salvation to a darkened world if we cannot love through the sin. Is your sin more wretched than mine own? Does not all sin separate us from God and thus I too was once drowning in my own personalized mud and filth that taints the soul? Are we not drowning still when we do not love and thus do not present the God of love that we boast dwells in our hearts?

Let our heart break for this world, not shun it.

Let our face fall in the dirt we act as if never touched us once. Let me fall in the dirt I never thought touched me.

Let us feel the sorrow and ache and grief of a lost world crying out, rendered and split because of us, because of our humanity that is God imaged and imperfect at once.

Salvation is not “us four no more.”

Salvation is not pot lucks.

Salvation is a saving by a God and we are helpless to provide it on our own, only to speak of it and watch the power of the One who always was and is breathe new life. Who would keep that to themselves?

Who indeed.