The Church, Blessed and Broken

I am not always a fan of the Huffington Post.  Sometimes their religion writers seem to be adherents of an ethereal McChurch—scrambling terminology, reporting on all the denominations but grossly misunderstanding the Catholic faith.  This time, though, HuffPo hit the nail on the head.

I loved this column, written by a blogger who calls himself the Unappreciated Pastor.  In fact, I friended him over on Facebook so that I won’t miss his pearls of wisdom.  He’s not a Catholic, I think, but his reflection has a universal application.  Especially in these days after the Christmas and Easter Catholics have settled in for a long winter—read this and reflect.

Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

Boring
Shallow
Cheap
A waste of time

You’ve heard that I am full of:

Hypocrites
Clowns
Greedy people
The self-righteous

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered:

Horrible music
Passionless singing
Dry preaching
Rude congregants

Maybe you needed me and I was:

Too busy
Too “righteous”
Too broke
Too blind

Maybe you joined me and found I was:

Distant
Demanding
Dull
Preoccupied

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by:

Business meetings
Committees
Teams
Bureaucracy

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody:

Called
Cared
Noticed
Invited you back

Perhaps your experience has driven you to:

Speak negatively of me
Swear to never come back to me
Proclaim that no one needs me
Believe you’re better off without me

If this is true, I have something to say to you:

I’m sorry
I was wrong
I blew it
I made a huge mistake

But remember, I never said my name was:

Perfect
Flawless
Complete
Arrived

My name is church. I welcome the:

Hypocrite
Dry
Self-righteous
Shallow

I welcome the

Sincere
Passionate
Forgiving
Selfless

I cannot shut my doors to the people who make you:

Angry
Uncomfortable
Impatient
Self-conscious

But I would remind you that we couldn’t always worship in the same room. In the Old Testament there was a division between the:

Gentile
Jew
Man
Woman

In order for us to all worship in the same room Christ was:

Shamed
Beaten
Killed
Resurrected

Which is far worse than being:

Bored
Uncomfortable
Embarrassed
Ignored

So why not come back to church and let all of these messed up people:

Challenge you
Sharpen you
Strengthen you
Humble you

I can’t promise you that the people will be great. This is church. It’s not:

Heaven
Paradise
Beulah Land
The Celestial city

Come back.

God wants you here.
The body needs you here.
The world needs your witness here.
You belong here.

Hello, my name is church.

I miss you.

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Can’t wait to see you.

 


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