This past weekend my familly took off the Sunday to spend it with my extended family to celebrate an early Thanksgiving. I always enjoy the visit. I don’t enjoy it just for the family time. It also gives me some good time to visit another church. (Us pastors don’t get to do that too often!) I enjoy worshipping with a different group of God’s people. It excites me to see that God is raised up as the most important reality in other’s lives just like He is raised up in my home church. I love to hear God’s word preached by a fellow servant of God who cares deeply that others know God’s heart. I am quietly rooting for that very extended family of God that the Lord will bless their ministry and their attempts to share the gospel in their neighborhoods.
All that being said, spending time with another church as a guest makes me miss home a bunch. I miss knowing the person across from me as we sing together. I miss knowing the people I am praying for. I miss the way my instrumentalists play. I miss the faces, the families, the knowing. I know that the people I worship with every Sunday are not perfect. They are sinners, just like me. Believe it or not, I even miss that imperfection.
Why? Why is it that I miss all those things? The reason is that this church is home to me. That’s what church should be. It should be a place where you are accepted. It should also be where you accept those around you. The family of God should be the place where you are so invested that you miss it when you are not there. It won’t be perfect. Perfection is for statues. Real people and real life is just like you and me – imperfect. That’s how my biological family loves me: warts and all. That’s how I love my church. That is what grace is all about!
Something to think about,