Sunday, October 24, 2010

Church - or was it?

Our family along with two single people from training wanted to go to a Spanish Church in town. As far as we could tell there was one in Colorado Springs (30 minutes away) so off we went. Directions were good and we arrived on time to a very nice small church in a older neighborhood. It was all boarded up with a lock on the door. Hmmm.......

Plan "B". Everyone was a little disappointed so we drove around the neighborhood and found a Christian Church that was just about to begin. We arrived at this small ch
urch (maybe 70 people) about 5 minutes early and were directed downstairs for "before church coffee and doughnuts". Now I know you cannot judge a book by its cover, but only one person in the church greeted us. During the "meet and greet" time it went something like this, "HI, I'm Eric." Other person, "mornin". Next person, "Good morning, I'm Eric". Other person, "morning."
A little disappointing to say the least and very sad.

It was not long before the worship started and I was impressed by the little band and choice of songs. The songs were contemporary but sung with the joy of a wet dish towel. During the service, The Lord's Supper was served but all of us missed it as we were used to having a "ceremony" if you will and this was a passing around of the elements with everyone taking the wafer and juice and eating/drinking it right away. We realized we "missed it" when the man stood up to give announcements and announced the speaker. The speaker was obviously a person the church knew well (although it wasn't obvious to us until 1/2 way through the sermon). He had been an itinerant pastor at the church a few years prior. During his time as itinerant pastor he admitted that he was struggling with the sovereignty of God (PTL for honestly!). After a permanent pe
rson was found he returned to his hometown and got involved with wine, women and song. At this point we realized that this "sermon" was his confession, testimony to the church. He was very open and raw and had come to tell of his journey, Gods Grace and his struggles. He was not yet done with his struggle and had not yet fully accepted the Lord's forgiveness.

When the service ended he walked out the back. After we were released I expected many parishioners to approach this man and offer him forgiveness and grace. Not one person did. They all walked out to their cars and left (The Broncos were playing). Some of our group approached him to offer words of encouragement. He is a hurting man. We left feeling very heavy and sad.

So my question is- were we with the church
or just in a building with other people?

I know the church is made up of of messed up, sinful people and we meet 1 or 2 times a week, generally
in a building; but doesn't that meeting involve God's grace? His Love? Our acceptance of others as He accepted us - sins and all? If those are not present - is it the church?

We have been and will be this week challenged with "confronting when necessary", exiting our worlds to enter into the other persons world and seeking Gods grace and understanding in the process. The training last week was rather intense introspective work. We have had some good talks with new friends and our family while processing all of this and I can tell that more are to come.

On the lighter side, we took our mini van - yes the van up to about 10,000 feet on a small one way dirt trail over the mountain pass between Palmer Lake and Woodland Park, Colorado. It was a fantastic view but not exactly the adventure we expected. We were in for a 20 minute drive. Drive up the mountain a little way and then turn around and come down. Not so. No turn around available- so what to do but keep going up. 2 hours later we arrived back where we started from after going over the mountain and then around it to avoid going back over it again. We had a fun time. We stopped and felt our first snow of the yea
r and got some great shots of Pikes Peak. One is below.
Kids at the Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs. Very Interesting place to visit if you have an hour to two.

1 comment:

  1. I don;t know much what to say,...! but I pray that God bless you and your family.


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