Thursday, September 20, 2007

Starting a Church?

Hello Portland!

"So, are we starting a church, or what?" Starting a church... Would you mind if we did? Would you care? Would anyone? Why would we want to?
Lots of questions to think about. We can go back to the Great Commission of Matt. 28:19, and it conjures up all kinds of images. It could be the Fuller Brush man who during my childhood came around to every farm home in the community about every two months, selling (of course!) brushes and home cleaning products. His counterpart, the long-gone Watkins salesman, surely saved my life countless times. Without that yellow can of Watkins salve and Mom's home-made bandages torn from old long underwear, I don't know how I'd have recovered from all my childhood burns, cuts and puncture wounds.

But does the Great Commission make door-to-door salesmen/women of us? Maybe, maybe not. How about neighbors who help neighbors? How about supporting families in transition times of birth and death, graduation and marriage, illness and unemployment, war and peace, loss of a home or warming a new one? Is there a place to either be the Samaritan who stops on the road or be the one receiving the aid that the Samaritan offers? We think so, both in lean times and in times of plenty, in old neighborhoods and new ones.

The can of Watkins salve seems more like an appropriate metaphor for the Great Commission than the pomp, circumstance and costly materials of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. At least it does to us. We think there are still wounds in the world and still a need for healing. We think the Great Commission calls for uncommon love. We think it calls for common folk, common ground and uncommon love. We think it calls for Koine Community.

Next time: Enough churches already?


Pastor Roger

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