Before I say anything else, I want you to know I still love you. I see you there hurt, wounded, beaten and broken. I know that people have been hard on you. Some of it you deserved, some of it you just got because people forgot how much you deserve love.
Let me be honest, things have been rough in recent years. There have been times when you haven’t looked anything like my Bible. There have been times you haven’t looked anything like Jesus. There have been times I wanted to give up and times I wanted to quit. I was ready to pick up a stone and take aim for your forehead. But I didn’t…
Some of your attitudes have left me wounded, and in my rejection and wounding it became easy to forget all the good you have done me over the years. Not only me, but everyone. So I decided to be intentional this year to remind myself of all your benefits.
You are a home. No matter where I go, or how long I am gone, Ms. Mary is always at your front door smiling waiting for me to come home. I don’t get that everywhere I go. Church, you are a home. You are a place that I miss when I am traveling. You are a place that my heart longs for when I am on the other side of the world. Church, I can’t wait to come home and tell you all the amazing things God has done in my life and used me to do in the lives of others.
Church, you support me. You push me to study my bible and really find out who Jesus is. Thank you for encouraging me to not only believe, but to have a “why” behind my belief. Thank you for pushing me to make the hard choices even when it meant hard times. You have pushed me to be more like Jesus than I would ever have pushed myself.
Thank you church for helping me express the worship in my heart. Every time I come through your doors we worship Jesus together. It is such a blessing. Sometimes my life gets busy and I forget to worship Jesus, but there you are, doors open wide and songs proclaiming Loudly, “I love you Jesus. I rejoice to have you as my Lord, and my Light.”
Church, I know sometimes we disagree on things. I know I struggle sometimes with the sermon that our pastor preaches. I know sometimes I don’t agree with every word that comes out of His mouth, but Church, you never let my disagreements keep me from coming. You encourage me to understand where our differences are, what differences matter, ad what differences are trivial.
Church, thank you for consistently reminding me to think beyond myself. I thank you for taking the time to remind me of the needs of my city, region, state, nation, thank you for caring about the world as a whole. Thank you for calling me to look into the darkness and see the light shining. Thank you for challenging me to engage the world as that light that I might bring vision of Jesus to the world. Church, this is what you do.
Church, we are a community. Sometimes we differ on what that should look like, but in the end, I need you. You need me too. We have a tough relationship, but I tire of how often people are quick to dismiss you. To throw stones and tell you all the things you need to change just to matter again.
CHURCH! I STILL LOVE YOU.