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Over the years the church has gotten a bad rap.

Honestly, most of the time it deserved it.

But, and this is coming from someone who had one of those bad experiences with a church, don’t let 1 bad experience ruin church for you.

Here’s the deal—the church as wonderful as it is—is still a community of people, who, are you ready for this…are HUMAN like you and me.

The church will mess up. There is no getting around that. The church has, is, and will probably let you down at some point. Unfortunately, this is the very real possibility when living with other people.

Why then would someone, say a pastor, commit their life to serving God through God’s church?

Here is why there is hope in the church because as broken as the church is, it is also quite beautiful—like a mosaic. And it is beautiful because you are beautiful. Your story is one the church, the community of faith, needs in order to be that city on the hill scripture invites us to be.

This is why I love God—this is why I can’t give up on my faith: God didn’t give up on humanity and God will never give up on humanity.

Plus—how did God come to us?

In a child—a human being—fleshy, bloody, and all the other fluids that come with being a human.

Oh friends, we are better because of you. And when you aren’t with us, we lack something. We are incomplete.
Don’t give up on us. Don’t give up on God.

But also, don’t think you are alone in your doubts and struggles about the church. I’ve been there. And many more are and will be there.

Here is the good news—the church, with Gods help, with YOUR help, can make a difference in the lives of many.

So, friend, come. Come share your story with us. Come and teach us about love, faith, hope, and joy. Come.

You are welcome in this place.

I leave you with a beautiful quote one of my parishioners shared with me today. It is from Kathleen Norris’ book Amazing Grace.

“The church is still a sinful institution,” a Benedictine monk wrote to me when I was struggling over whether or not to join a church. “How could it be otherwise?” he asked, and I was startled into recognition of simple truth. The church is like the Incarnation itself, a shaky proposition. It is a human institution, full of ordinary people, sinners like me, who say and do cruel, stupid things. But it is also a divinely inspired institution, full of good purpose, which partakes of a unity far greater than the sum of its parts. That is why it is called the body of Christ.”

And so we pray, Come, Lord Jesus, come….

Hebrews 10.5-10
5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me;

6 in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no pleasure.

7 Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God” (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’ 

8When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

[Adam Quine, Pastor of First Presbyterian Chuch in Lincoln]

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