Here’s the ugly truth: Every time I hear of someone’s disappointment with “the church,” I find myself thinking…
“Ugh, that’s me.”
Talked behind someone’s back? I’ve done it. Betrayed someone’s trust? I’ve done it. Helped someone out and made them feel like a “project?” I’ve done it.
Acted fake? Lied? Shown favoritism? Been self-righteous? Definitely.
Been more concerned with image than with people? More concerned with comfort than with people? More concerned with money than with people? All of that too.
Been ignorant on important things? Turned a blind eye to injustice? Yep, I’ve done it.
Not followed through on things I’ve said I’d do? Not lived out the things I say I believe and value? OH MAN, have I done THAT.
I am faithful to my husband … and I’ve never stolen anyone’s money… but other than that I think that pretty much any accusation made against “church people” has been true of me.
So this week, I take SPECIAL joy in reflecting on the God who saw me in my petty, fake, self-righteous, self-centered ways — who knew I could never be good enough to come to Him — and loved me enough to come to me, to take on flesh and bone.
Friday, I will celebrate (yes, celebrate!) the day he was nailed to a cross and allowed himself to die — because all the wrongs of the world CRY OUT for VENGEANCE!! And so he allowed that vengeance to fall on himself so that anyone who receives his grace-gift could be free from the crushing weight of guilt and shame that bring so much figurative death…
On Sunday, I will remember that when he rose from the grave, he defeated physical death too so that I — and all who receive this gift with me — might have life and purpose and love and strength and eternal hope. And my heart will cry out “HE IS RISEN!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!”
So — while again and again, I will be reminded of my failings and I will even live them out again — I will also know that I am not defined by them, but by the God who loved me and gave himself up for me (Galatians 2:20).
And I’ll join with a whole bunch of other messed-up, failing, hypocritical people — who I love like crazy — and we’ll walk together in the light of celebration and forgiveness and grace.
Easter Sunday’s coming fast — let me know if you wanna join us! #EasterAtDiscovery