Every Sunday morning I get up and check Facebook and Twitter and see posts like this roll across my screen:
"Can't wait to worship with my faith family at Happy Fantabulous Church this morning!!!!".
This makes my stomach AND heart hurt. As someone who is currently without a true "church home" this idea that our "faith family" only consists of those we attend church with hurts me so deeply. Sure those posts make me feel left out, but worse, they make me realize that I am - currently, by this definition, no one's faith family. Which is, of course, ridiculous. I know this. I even know that this is not what is intended.
Regardless of all we supposedly know, I am saddened by what this implies - that the Body of Christ for all real and practical purposes pretty much stops at the walls of our church. We are very attached to our churches. We are all very proud of our churches. We are all excited about our churches. But I don't often see that we are truly really attached to the fullness of the entire, true Body of Christ.
I think our vision is limited, our box is too small. We are missing so much.....
Our "faith family" is the entirety of the Body of Christ. It is more than our church.
It runs across all denominational lines, Catholics and Protestants alike, all races, all nations, all cultures and languages, Charismatic and Fundamentalists, right wing and liberal - you get the picture. To further blow your mind, have you ever considered that the Body of Christ is also across all TIME? Our "faith family" includes all Believers in Jesus Christ throughout all ages!
And if that is not enough to blow your mind, the Body of Christ is also all Christians even if they do not hold your views or opinions! (I have to remind myself of this quite often!)
The Body is BIGGER than us, our small experiences and our personal opinions, our limited knowledge, our culturual bias, our comfortable little Sunday morning box we call CHURCH.
How beautiful - and messy - is this?! We could learn so much from one another!
I have brothers and sisters in Christ that I know and love scattered all over the world, and yes, all over Twitter and Facebook. :) Our hearts are connected by "whose we are", not by where we go on any given Sunday morning. Or how we worship. Or what language we speak. Or what color our skin is. Or even if we agree. Jesus is what matters. Not my box.
So what would it look like if we were to expand our horizons, open our hearts - and arms - and "live" what we already know? What would it look like if we actually lived out one of my favorite verses in the Bible,
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13: 34-35)
What would it look like?
In March I was in this remote village in the northern section of Rwanda. I was invited to a man's home and after hiking for a couple of miles to reach it, we sat in his tiny courtyard with his wife, four children and many neighbors and studied the Bible together. He was a largely uneducated man who had never ventured much farther than his village. Yet he said the most profound thing....
"You are from America. I am from Rwanda. Your skin is white, mine is black. (he held his arm over to mine for comparison) But we are on the same journey with Christ."
I think that says it all.....
But seriously, what would it look like? Any ideas?