Lifelines August 01, 2021

The church of Christ is an extraordinary body comprised of remarkably ordinary people.  We struggle with finances, sin, neighbors, the state of the world, demanding schedules and a thousand and one other distractions.  We are hurt, disappointed, angry, sad, lonesome and heartbroken.  Yet, in the midst of it all, we are richly blessed.  Admittedly, it is hard to reconcile all that we experience and feel with the notion that we are the objects of almighty God’s special affection.

There are times when life throws more at us than we can handle leaving us frazzled and overwhelmed.  Sickness and death do not stop.  Loved ones turn on us.  Those we thought were dependable and trustworthy are not.  Friends betray us.  Our inner circle abandons us.  People spread lies about us.  It actually sounds exactly like the experience of Jesus.  He has traveled the road we are on and understands it perfectly well.  This world is a rough and tumble place.  The Lord isn’t caught off guard by this (John 16:33).  He knows.

To expect otherwise is a mistake.  The church does not lift us out of the tribulations that are inescapable in this creation, but she does provide a support system.  We are no longer alone, solitary figures trying to fight our way through the injustices that we face.  We are part of a kingdom that is indestructible.  That is the Lord’s plan and promise.

David was as special as they come.  He was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).  He was the Lord’s handpicked king to lead His people (1 Samuel 16:12).  He wrote many of the psalms, including the beloved twenty-third, which is likely the most famous of them all.  Yet, his legacy is scarred by some of the most horrible sins.  His resume includes adultery and murder.  We will be terribly disappointed if we are looking for a collection of perfect people.  The church is comprised of anything but.

We could draw up a list of biblical heroes from Genesis to Revelation and not a one of them would be flawless.  Check the genealogy of our Savior in the first chapter of the New Testament and discover quite a few sketchy characters.  It is His somewhat-embarrassing family tree and through them God brought His Son to save us from our sins.  Spotless is not exactly the word to describe them.  He was.  They were not.

That brings us to His church; twenty-first century edition.  It can often be a ragtag looking assortment of sin-scarred folks with ugly histories.  That is a human perspective.  God sees us differently.  He looks through the blood of the lamb and sees forgiven sons and daughters.  He holds us near and dear.  We are His family.  What an astonishing portrait it is.  As scruffy and disheveled as we may appear to each other, He calls us His children.  It is quite amazing, isn’t it?