Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sign of the Times

In another state I found this sign. I'm glad they are a church that cares. I hope it doesn't mean that other churches don't care. I also hope that it's a way of life, not just a sign on a nice green lawn.

I asked a local what she thought they cared about. She replied, "They care that you know that there is a God."

"Fair enough," I said. "But if I've just been laid off, have lost my health insurance and can't come up with the money for next month's rent and utility bills, do they care about that?"

She offered a general reply that church was not really about those things.

I have a former seminary classmate who is pastor of The Church of Hope in Canyon Country, CA. They have a little church building where they hold worship. But they also worship at another location: their Monday-Saturday thrift store and food pantry set in a strip mall between a liquor store and a pawn shop. On Sunday, they push the tables aside, set up chairs, pray and sing praises among the donated goods.

In the community, this church is not known as The Church of Hope. It is known as "the church that cares". It's not a name or a slogan adopted by a congregational vote after a yearlong study by committee who made a recommendation to the church council.

How wonderful when the community gives us our real name because of who we are, not what we say or think we are. If that's not Christ at work, I'm not sure what could be. May we all be so led. May all the names our community might give us be so reflective of Him.


No comments: