The believers have no clothes

Thoughts on Suffering
January 20, 2018
The Holocaust and testimony-sharing
January 25, 2018

A man collapses in the pew in the middle of the service.

Ushers rush to him. Those who sit nearby in the pew attend to him. Concern spreads throughout the congregation as people now give mere lip service to the music. Their thoughts are on the scene unfolding in the room.

Ready to do CPR, an attendant looks at the medical bracelet on the man’s wrist.

“In case of an emergency, share your testimony of God’s love with this patient.”

“Share my what?”

“Read that again,” another asks.

“In case of an emergency, share your testimony of God’s love with this patient.”

“Oh. I can’t do that.”

“Me neither.”

Flatline.

 

There are people in crisis in our church congregations. Addiction. Emotional pain. Physical pain. Dysfunctional relationships. Financial crisis.  They feel intimidated. Lonely. Inferior.

“Look at all the people in this church. All of their lives are better than mine. They are all better Christians than me. I don’t belong here. I don’t fit in. I’m all messed up.”

They need help. They want help. However, they don’t believe anyone can help them. No one can relate. They retreat into themselves. They keep an emotional distance. They will not participate. They will not share. They will not get involved. They come to services and leave. They begin to attend sporadically. They stop coming to church altogether.

Flatlined.

 

Leaders of the church scratch their heads.

“How can we get people more engaged with the church?”

“Get people to share their testimonies,” says a small voice at the meeting.

“Sure….any other ideas? Please? Anyone? Something other than that? Something that isn’t so scary?”

 

The “emperor has no clothes”.

We all know it. It’s obvious. The church in America is struggling because of a lack of transparency. People in congregations hide in their shells. In direct disobedience to Galatians 6:2, we keep our dirty laundry hidden from our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“I might get embarrassed,” says the believer from inside the bag over their head.

“But, I’ll pray for revival in this country. I don’t know how things got this bad.”

“Jesus, would you mind erasing II Corinthians 12:9 from Your Word? I really don’t want to share my weakness with anyone. Can’t You show Your power in my life in some other way?”

 

Hmmm. What would Jesus say?

Does Jesus Christ know the hunger our brothers and sisters in Christ have for stories of hope?

Does Jesus Christ know He has written stories of real change in our lives, stories that will give these dear ones hope?

Does Jesus Christ surrender to the fear in our hearts which keeps us from sharing our stories with others?

Or, is Jesus Christ calling us to rise above our fears and do ministry for people who need to hear our stories?

 

Believers in Jesus Christ. He is attending to the person on the church floor who has collapsed.

Like a medic who asks a bystander to get a patient water, Jesus asks You to get the patient your testimony.

“Go get it! Hurry! They are in need! Time is of the essence! Open your mouth and tell this patient what I’ve done for you!”

 

Believers in Jesus Christ, the “emperor has no clothes”. You know it. Christ knows it. We all know it. Our fear to share our testimonies, even within the walls of the church, shows something is wrong in our hearts.  Jesus knows the truth.  We should just be honest and get it over with.  Either we will tell Him we will choose to live in fear of sharing our personal stories or we will look in the mirror and ask Jesus to change our hearts and wear the clothing of our weakness so that Christ’s power can be obvious to all.

 

Which choice will you make?