Better Out Than In I Always Say

Dave Carrol’s post from May in 2013 was another in our New Year Series of memorable ones…

Our culture is not a perfect culture. Some are sure we’re headed down the “hell in a hand-basket” route while others are pleased with our progress. But nobody is SATISFIED with where we are.

 

 

When something is wrong, we have choices about how to react. My Grandmother used to hide in her closet during thunderstorms. That was her choice. It never stopped that storm, but it certainly did create a prevalent habit that leaked fear into her life.

 

 

The Church can be kinda like that. Closet hiders, just hoping that the storms of a less-than-ideal culture will just pass by. Sometimes we pray in the closet. More often than not… we just worry. Worry doesn’t do anything. Prayer does… if we do it. But it’s only PART of the equation.

 

St Thomas More in his “Prayer for Fervor in Thinking of God” wrote this powerful prayer:

 

“Give us, good Lord, the grace to work for the things we pray for.”

 

 

Work for the things we pray for. Interesting. Work. The prophet Shrek’s words won’t stop wringing in my head these days.

 

“Better out than in I always say”

 

Sure he was talking about gas. But I think of it in a churchly context. A few weeks ago, I was supposed to preach at a youth service on a Friday Night. At the same time, not 200 meters away a candlelight vigil for Tim Bosma and his family was being held. For those not in Central Canada, Bosma was the homicide victim in a high profile crime in our area. I couldn’t stop thinking about how there would be 400 people, showing compassion and support for a grieving family a 1 minute walk away. I couldn’t justify the idea that the manifested person of Jesus (The Church) would be best representing how Christ would have functioned… by being INSIDE the church building with each other, while others were displaying His love OUTSIDE it. So we went. And it was a GOOD thing.

 

I am the biggest proponent of The Church in town. I believe in the regular gathering of believers. I believe in the church family. I believe in corporate worship together. I’m IN. But then… we need to WORK for the things we PRAY for. We need to be OUT more than IN. We need to be right in the middle of even the awkward parts of our less-than-perfect culture without condemning it (since our arrogant tongues combined with half-understandings get us into trouble).

 

We need to sit on municipal committees and ask God for wisdom about real answers. We need to invite widows and orphans into our families…. but with more than lip-service. For REAL.

 

 

We need to learn to pray without ceasing as we learn to serve without ceasing.

 

 

But most of all… we need to GET OUT and stop hiding and throw yourself in the middle of a culture you’d like to see change in. It’ll be tough, political, messy, and cause you to incur criticism, attack and doubt. Sounds fun eh? It IS. In fact, SO FUN because it’s you who will get to be a change-maker while others are just hiding in the closet worrying. Worship hard AND Work hard.


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