I’ve been writing some hard posts about the Church lately. Maybe all of them are hard, but the truth is that I say hard things in hopes of moving this Church we love to change. The world craves joy and relief. We can be a Church that offers that.
The world is so deeply troubled (did you see this in the news yesterday?) and yet I see the Church as a way out when we let God be God. I continue to delight in the fact that the Spirit of living God continues to move through human beings. Sometimes it takes floods, fires and wandering for 40 years, but the God of love will always win.
Let’s look at times when love has won. Call this post a spiritual palate cleanser.
Katie Hays pinpoints such Behold Moments from scripture in her book (here.)
- That time Cornelius the Gentile (aka Not One of God’s Chosen People – or so some assume) gets baptized by Peter after Peter has a vision that no food is unclean and no person is unclean.
- That time Paul (who used to terrorize Christians) was baptizing formerly unclean people which is really strange since Paul is usually such a rule keeper.
- That time the rules on circumcision changed which seems to defy everything it says about circumcision in Genesis.
People of faith sometimes refer to “God Moments” as in those times when something holy happens in the grocery store parking lot or during book group. Yes, to God Moments, but there are even holier, more amazing things that go unnoticed or underappreciated every day. Katie Hays calls these “Something, Something Holy Spirit.” They are the moments that blow us away as God reveals something unexpected and unspeakably gracious.
“Everybody Jesus ever met had a story to tell,” writes Hays.
What are your stories? Here are a couple of mine from fairly recently:
- That time a Transgender woman visited a church for the first time and the congregation got to know her and love her to the point that an elder told me that his friendship with her helped him understand his Transgender granddaughter who’d been estranged from the family.
- That time a church took a chance on a young clergywomen (after saying they had no intention of interviewing any women) and found their dream pastor who has changed the mission mindset of their whole county to look more like Jesus.
- That time a church gave all the money in an underused scholarship fund for church members to the children of Muslim refugees so that they could attend community college.
- That time a pastor left an emotionally abusive situation that was killing her soul only to be called to a new position that fills her soul to the brim.
I’ve seen these things and more. In every situation these stories are a result of people letting God do God’s thing. In the thick of the world’s hot messed-ness, let’s remember that if we let God be God, amazing things happen.