I updated my Reading page today with the books that are currently occupying my time. Take a look. I’d love to hear what books are challenging and encouraging your walk of faith.
The Church is a burden that weighs heavily on my heart with both hopeful expectancy and frustrated irritation. I know you’ve been reading the blogs and papers; you’re aware of how much our humanness gets in the way of our living as the people God intends us to be. You’ve heard about the big and little fallings of notable of leaders and of compromise in the ranks. It’s saddening. Sometimes it’s downright pound-your-fist-on-the table maddening. Often it is personally convicting–my house is made of thin glass.
I’ve been reading Called: The Crisis and Promises of Following Jesus Today, by Mark Labberton. It is both soul salve and a swift kick in the Levis.
Here is a quote from my reading today:
Sometimes the church is just odd: habits, speech, attitudes, potlucks, whatever. Every church is something particular, and you smell it the moment you’re on the premises. The point isn’t whether a church is odd, but whether it’s odd because it imitates Jesus Christ. Does the church live that vocation? Surely this plain and unadorned questions is the one that people inside, and certainly outside, the church want to have answered. If the response is anything but yes, we have to ask ourselves what we’re doing and why.
Few outside the church measure it by a standard of perfection. What they seek is far, far more achievable: authentic people whose proclamation of their trust in Jesus is backed up by their ordinary but self-giving acts of grace, justice and compassion.”
What are we doing and why? I’m stewing on this answer. I hope you will too.