So now you know how we got here. Confused, yes me too. I am not sure really where here is either, except we are not there anymore.
One last thought, if you are part of a church, which you love, then you probably will not understand the need for what we are doing. You could not imagine that anyone would not be loved and feel welcome at your church. Without breaking down something that is obviously good in your life, trust me on this… they will not love it, they might hate it, they might be offended, they most probably will just not care! Your exegesis may leave them cold, your worship may freak them out, your liturgy may confuse them and the fact that you smile a lot, only sing happy songs, don’t swear and all seem ok, will probably confirm what they already knew when they walked in… they don’t belong!
Having to nip out the back for a sneaky smoke will confirm it.
They have problems, questions, doubts and bills to pay. We have seen too much and felt too little. They hear everything and yet often know nothing. How might they possibly justify their existence when they’re broke and stuck in a dead-end job? Or perhaps we are living their dream but don’t know how to pay the rent or perhaps they are unemployed (unemployable?), homeless, cold and hungry. You probably don’t know what it like to live just for today or what it’s like to go to bed hungry? You have forgotten what it is like to be all alone in a crowded room? We long for the simplicity of good friends, a place to belong, a place to kick your shoes off, put your feet up, a place of honesty, a place to breathe…
As the community of God’s people we are set free to once again discover what it is to be truly human. And it is this life of the Trinity, this life of Creation that we are busy discovering. It is into this life together that we invite others to come and join with us, journey with. It is a life of peace, of joy, of hope and of rest!
Vincent Donovan once said about mission work, “… do not try to call them back to where they were, and do not try to call them to where you are, as beautiful as that place might seem to you. You must have the courage to go with them to a place that neither you nor they have ever been before.”
You may also like to read part one, part two, part three, part four and part five of these ramblings.