Broken People Broken Churches
Tuesday - June 2nd
Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: 1 Corinthians 1:26-28
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 6:19-24
God chose the foolish things of the world
to shame the wise; God chose the weak things
of the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 1:27
As a kid during P.E. or recess when teams were being picked, I wasn't one of the first kids picked, nor was I the last kid picked. I did land somewhere toward the end of the selection process. The process was usually run by two of our peers who were cool enough and competitive enough to have that kind of clout among our classmates. It amazes me that God uses all sorts of people. More often than not, He uses people others would never think God could use.
As our nation seeks healing and reconciliation, churches need to be a part of that healing. By our presence, we should facilitate the communication, add grace to our communities, and help restore areas that have been destroyed. I personally feel so inadequate to be a part of any of that. But, then I read passages of Scripture like 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, and I am reminded God uses broken people. Churches are made up of broken people.
This weekend I came across an article on LifewayVoices.com by Jarid C. Wilson entitled, "Your weird, messy church is God's Plan "A." Wilson captured so well how God wants to use our churches as they are - messy and all - to bring hope and healing to our nation. Here is an extended selection from his article:
I'm not an old man, but I've been in churches for going on 45 years now, and I think this is the weirdest time to be a churchman in my lifetime. I've been in plenty of weird churches too. In fact, I don't think I've ever been a part of a church that wasn't weird in some way. I bet the same is true for you.
If we had our druthers, our churches would be more of something and less of some other things. We'd change the music, the architecture maybe, the sermon run-time, maybe even the deliverer of the sermon. And there's the weirdoes seated around us. Who on earth thought of bringing these people together? As the old King James Version put it, we are a "peculiar people" (1 Peter 2:9), aren't we?
Well, it was Jesus who thought of that. And even during His earthly ministry, it sure didn't seem like He was assembling some kind of spiritual A-Team, did it?
It's almost like He prefers losers, cast-offs, and ne'er-do-wells. Like He's recruiting sinners, in fact. God is prioritizing broken people from broken situations to be His chosen emissaries to a broken world. Which means that as weird and messy as your church may be, you are exactly suited to this weird and messy time. There is no other church than your church to be the church to the people in your community. There is no other people than the church to be an outpost of heaven in your city, in your nation, in this world.
-Jared C. Wilson at LifeWayVoices.com
In the last three or four days, I have been reminded several times by others that we can start by simply asking those around us how they are doing. As you talk to someone on the phone, interact with them on Zoom, or see them in person, check-in on them. Look them in the eye and ask, "How are you doing in all of this?" Give them room to answer. Many people need to be heard right now. Each of us can begin this step today. As you listen to what others are feeling and thinking, be careful not to shut them down. Don't ask so you can correct them, argue with them, or prove them wrong. Ask so they can be heard and valued.
As a church, we are looking for ways to leverage our collective energy and resources to be a part of the solution to the challenges our nation and community face. We will have a role together in this over time. But, we can all check on how others are doing now.
Maybe you feel inadequate. Perhaps you can relate to being one of the last kids picked for the team. God uses people who feel inadequate, overlooked, and out of place. It's His specialty!