Welcome to Sunday Soaking. Let's take a dip shall we?
This week I am going to do a little something different. Instead of blathering on about the topic at hand, I am going to use some excerpts from the book and we can discuss those. Pick one or more questions to answer. If you have no idea what I am talking about, scroll to the bottom of this post and I explain there.
"I knew in my mind that church was more than a denomination, a building, or a program, but God was awakening in my heart the reality that the church is the gathering of followers of Jesus. To fall in love with church meant falling in love with God's people. And falling in love with people meant putting my own preferences aside when it came to details like the style of music, the length of the service, or even the takeaway value of the sermon."How often do you get distracted by "the structure", as in the denomination, worship style, sermon, etc. and forget the real reasons we are to go to church?
My thought: This paragraph stuck out to me, because I forget that when I go to church it really shouldn't be all about ME. It's about being in true fellowship with other believers, and spending time with God.
"I love the word infallible, because it describes someone who is incapable of erring and incapable of failing. Within that frame, only One fulfills both requirements. He makes no mistakes. He will never fail. Our God is wildly infallible. Nothing is beyond His redemption. Nothing is beyond His restoration. Nothing is beyond His healing power. Not the bruises. Not the scars. Not the pain."In what ways do you limit God? When you look at the areas in your life where there are scars, where there is pain, even where the church has injured you, do you relinquish those to God?
My thought: This one is rough for me. I really do believe that He is powerful and amazing, but I guess I don't really believe that He makes everything better. If I did, I wouldn't have so much bitterness and pain that I hold onto. If I let Him restore me and transform me, I wouldn't be such a spazz with such a short temper.
Do you find yourself becoming disappointed and/or critical of your church? Do you think you should? How can you deal with your disappointments and/or frustrations?
"Now I'm not naive. I realize the church in America is far from perfect and in many ways has gone astray, but the church is still the bride of Christ. She may have holes in her dress, stains on her shoes, and smeared makeup on her face, but at the end of the day, she is still the bride. When we recognize that God's perspective of the church is not necessarily our own, then we will begin treating her with the respect and care she deserves... Anyone with a pulse can point out the ragamuffin qualities of a local assembly, but if you spend too much time focused on the stains, then you'll soon lose focus on our wildly infallible God. He is far more concerned with his church than you or I or a hundred pastors put together will ever be. He has a plan. He makes no mistakes. He will not fail."
My thought: I think a big part of this concept has to do with my insecurities and less to do with the flaws of other's in the church. We all want to belong to the "cool" group, and if our church isn't measuring up, we tend to start looking around at the other churches as being where the "cool kids" hang out. I think the idea that God cares about the church more than me makes me feel like I can JUST be a part of it, and not constantly trying to solve the problems or troubleshoot.
BTW Each week, I have been discussing the themes of each chapter in a book called "the organic God" by Margaret Feinberg. This week was on chapter 6 - wildly infallible. If you like books that are relaxing to read, but still challenge you and make you think, this is a book for you. I don't know how she does it.