We’ve had this ugly, ugly thing happen in our church. A young man, early twenties has left the congregation. I’m sure he felt as though he had no choice. He’ll have felt as though he was run out of the congregation.
For what you ask?
Well, it wasn’t because of some grievous sin. It wasn’t because of gross hypocrisy. No, this young man who loves Jesus, who longs to serve Jesus was run out of the congregation because - wait for it - he was wearing sandals and bare feet. When he plays the guitar (worship team) he rocks and I mean he REALLY rocks. I love it. Some people, people in power positions complained. The kid got word of their small mindedness and he left. Which, in itself is small minded.
Oh Christians, what a nauseating group we are. While I can cut the young man some slack for his small mindedness, the atavistic behaviours of his elders makes me squeeze my eyes shut and sigh with spiritual weariness.
So what would Jesus do? How about what DID Jesus do?
Read Matthew 12:1-5. David, a man after God’s own heart broke the rules. He didn’t just break a dress-code he really screwed up. He went right into the Holy place and took something he had no business taking. And when Jesus was commenting on this grievous offence He said in both the Old and the New Testament - “I desire mercy.”
Yes rules have their place but mercy is better.
Our sanctuary needs to be exactly that - a place of safety, not attack.
Our sanctuary needs to be a place of mercy, not a place of destruction.
I attend a really, really fine congregation. One of the best I’ve been in. Sadly, even in the best of us, evil and pettiness lurks.