“To the wondering patriarch He now says in effect, ‘It’s all right, Abraham. I never intended that you should actually slay the lad. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there. I wanted to correct the perversion that existed in your love.’” – The Pursuit of God (Tozer, A.W.)
A homeless person gets more attention and help than a person in clean clothing, which comes to church on Sunday, whose pristine layers hide a fractured soul. It only takes someone to step out of his or her comfort zone to reach that person. What about the person who thinks church isn’t for him and they don’t feel the need for Jesus in their daily comforts? Aren’t all unsaved equal in Jesus’ eyes despite status or class? Or do we only give attention to the homeless, to the people in third world countries, or to those on welfare? Aren’t we supposed to love everyone?
I don’t say this to put down the effective efforts of those reaching all the above. In our country, we have no excuse in spite of the economy. Those who are temporarily laid low by deep economic blows are striving to get back what they have lost. I believe God is using this bad economy to bring us closer to Him and make us realize our materialism. But my point in the above statement is to say we seem to have political correctness in our midst. To say something contrary to trendy, feel-good areas of Christianity is to invite anger, self-righteousness even as major areas of church lack volunteers; but volunteers aren’t lacking in soup kitchens and food banks.
Saying this statement would make me a pariah in the eyes of my church or any church; that is why I submit this anonymously. If you help to end poverty through your church or in third world countries, I applaud you. You are gifted to help those in bad situations or situations that the people in third world countries did not ask to be born into, and were born regardless.
But ask yourself this question: what are you doing for your church? Are there areas that lack volunteers? Are we so busy in our lives that we are neglecting the very building where God has us worshipping Him?
Every ministry in a church has a purpose. There are volunteers who do too many ministries as they struggle to fill the gaps alone. Every soul deserves our prayers and our time. Are we clinging to the people we know or extending ourselves to strangers? Whether the person is homeless or drives a Jaguar and doesn’t believe in God, Jesus loves them all and wants them to live in truth. For us to neglect the church is to enable this culture and give up on America. We’ve got missionaries coming from other countries to tell us about Jesus. In our land of freedom and access, precious little people really know Jesus. There’s something wrong with that picture.
There’s no doubt a need is out there, but first, let us work as a team. Fix what is wrong in our lives and our church and fill the gaps using your gifts so that we can come at this broken culture with the light of truth and unity. Only Christ’s sacrifice on the cross can save anyone. Anything that we do on this earth is only temporary, chipping away at the surface and not getting at the core issue of a spiritual vacuum.
Look inward now. Describe your lack and strengths. Are you filling the gaps in your church or coming to be served? Are we washing feet? Or do our hearts harbor an idol?