Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An Ailing Bride?

I have been battling a bug recently, it started on Sunday morning.  I woke up and felt something foul in the pit of my stomach but tried to play it off that it wasn’t really anything except something I had eaten the night before that hadn’t set right.  I had things to do on Sunday and wasn’t about to let anything get me down.  I went to work, then at nine o’clock, there was no denying it, I was sick.  As I regained my bearings I continued to try to explain my way out of it all, now that it had worked itself out of my system, I would be fine.  Then eleven fifteen came, and I once again could not deny…
…I was sick.
I try to learn from experiences, and as I have been out of commission for the past few days, I have had time to learn.  Sickness is weakening, exhausting, and it will definitely take its toll on you.  While I have moved on from the biggest part of the flu, I am still wiped out, it is tiring.  I find myself sleeping, and when I am awake, I am wishing I could sleep.  My body reacts to the bug that is in the system, works hard to remove the bug, and meanwhile I feel run down, exhausted, and if I were to not get better, I need to seek medical help.  I need to take in fluids, possibly take in medicine to help me rebound, take my vitamin C, and anything else that could help me recover.
What if the church is sick?
It is just a question, but maybe it is one that should be asked and then researched.  What if the church caught some sort of bug, a foreign substance has crept in and caused the church to be ill?  It could be a number of things.  It could be gossip, backbiting, unbiblical rules and regulations, ritualism, religiosity (the actual practice of religion is more important than the God the religion serves), laziness, lackadaisicalness, hyper sensitivity, unfounded judgment, lying, pride, the list could go on and on.  I haven’t witnessed all of this in my local church, but I have experienced it in the American church through my friends and family in churches across the country. 
If this were to be a problem in the church, what should we do about it? 
As I mentioned before, sickness can be exhausting, and will definitely take its toll on the victim.  What if the victim is the church?  What would the church look like if there was sickness, how exhausted would she be if she were sick?  How long has she been sick?  If the church has been sick for a while, has she thought to seek help from the great physician, from the Groom who loves her so much? 
I just pose the question…
…but what can we do about it?
I believe that the God who loves His church so much does see the virus that has been besieging our various local bodies that make up the world wide church, and I believe He would love to heal us.  I believe He calls out to us with His Spirit telling us to depends on Him and trust Him and rely on Him for the healing we desperately need. 
Do we know we need a healing?
The religious leaders of Christ’s time had gone so far that they truly believed that they had it so right that there was no way they were wrong.  They were so inundated with sickness that they had no clue they were even sick, sick to the point of delusional.  Think about that…
…sick to the point of delusional.
I pray that the modern church will not find herself in that predicament.  May we continually seek the guidance of the Spirit that the Groom and great Physician may reveal the possible sickness we may be dealing with and nurse us back to health.
God bless, and may God reveal Himself to us, may He reveal the matters in our personal lives and the matters in our local churches that can be resolved and bring us back to the health He desperately wants for us.
“Do you want to be made well?”-Christ, John 5

...Another matter to take into account, when you are sick, how easy is it to focus on anyone but yourself?

1 comment:

Ben said...

I think many agree, but the question becomes "what to do?" It's easy to critique, but hard to correct. Personally, I've begun thinking it's all about right doctrine (with the assumption that orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy). I was startled to learn that Martin Luther started his reform with no real thought to morality; that was only on the peripheral. Could that be our problem today, our doctrine? Have we lost sight of the impact God has in our lives and the world?

(And, of course, Martin Luther had an ale-ing bride - she had her own brewery.)