Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. There are so much to catch up in office that I need to start with meditating on the Word of God and prayer. Otherwise, I will be too restless and lost. There are so many urgent needs that want to seek our attention or demand priority at work. If we allow them to dictate our time we will be everywhere – trying to put out fire. It should be “me” who determine the ultimate priority in “my” schedule, even though your boss may not agree. I choose to “seek Him first the Kingdom of God…” (Matt 6:33). Once I give God the priority He deserves, I believe in His promise that I will receive strength to effectively taking on the demands and urgency in life.
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this I life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you. Not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses; chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? (I Corinthians 1:26-28, Message) Apostle Paul talked about the foolishness of preaching; I would like to carry on about the foolishness of congregation. Of all the ways in which to engage in the enterprise of church, this has to be the most absurd – this haphazard collection of people who somehow get assembled into pews on Sundays, half-heartedly sing a few songs most of them don’t like, tune in and out of a sermon according to the state of their digestion and the preacher’s decibels, awkward in their commitments and jerky in their prayers.
But the people in these pews are also people who suffer deeply and find God in their suffering. These are men and women who make love commitments, are faithful to them through trial and temptation, and bear fruits of righteousness, spirit-fruits that bless the people around them. Babies, surrounded by hopeful and rejoicing parents and friends, are baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Adults converted by the gospel, surprised and surprising all who have known them, are likewise baptized. The dead are offered up to God in funerals that give solemn and joyful witness to the resurrection in the midst of tears and grief. Sinners honestly repent and believingly take the body and blood of Jesus and receive new life.
But these are mixed in with the others and are, more often than not, indistinguishable from them. I can find, biblically, no other form of church. In His divine plan, our Lord called the existence of this kind of church on earth. It is out of this kind of community that the name of our Lord is proclaimed and uplifted.
There is no perfect church on earth. As we always said, if you could find a perfect church, it will immediately become imperfect when you join in. Imperfect people will not form perfect church. Only God is perfect. When we unite with God in perfect submission, we begin to realize the kind of Christian community that God has intended. We will still experience hurt, betrayal, abuse, fight, fear and depression as we draw close; they are realities or consequences of imperfect community. But it is through this kind of community that God wants us to practice love, acceptance, forgiveness, forbearance, fellowship and submission, which ultimately change the world. We have no clue how it may work, we just need to submit to live out the message that comes upon us through the Holy Spirit and His words. It will take a life time for us to realize through a Christian community about this reality: “we love because He first loves us” (1 John 4:19).
Love you in submission to this Truth,