Saturday, October 24, 2009

"We'll Get There Together", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

It's a lonely road when you travel alone. No one to talk to. No one to listen to you. No one to make you laugh.

I'm not talking about a business trip.

I'm talking about everyday getting up in the morning and going to bed at night living.

I'm talking about loneliness in the midst of a crowd.

Loneliness in the midst of a family.

Who is sharing your burdens?

The kids are going one way, the spouse the other. Friends have their own problems. Co-workers are too stressed themselves to get past idle chit-chat.

I tell you one thing. I don't care what the depth of your cares or worries are, idle chit-chat is not enough.

Non-communication is a self-imposed tomb. No one is going to break down the door to share your cares and worries. Except...

...people who are inclined that way. People who are enlightened (or being enlightened) to get down into the muck and mire of your life with you.

Where do we find such people?

The family of God. Your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Hopefully...God help us. There are some gatherings you can walk into and be fortunate to get a smile cast your way.

But if you can find a real one...a honest to goodness operating church for the right reasons...

...then you have struck gold. Don't let it go. Ever. They are your traveling companions for life. Here and beyond.

This is why I am mystified as a pastor at times. I would think that people who have the most grief and troubles would be in church the most (and I am profoundly happy to say that I have the privilege of serving a "goldmine" church), but I see the complete opposite.

Listen to the words of Paul here (yes, I believe Hebrews is Pauline in content):

Hebrews 10: 24: "And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, (25) Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching."

If you look at this as some sort of authoritative church religious manipulation tactic, then you're missing out on the purpose and blessing contained in the passage.

Too many of my colleagues preach it legalistically as a commandment to "go to church".

Keith Green said it best, rest his soul, when he said "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger."

No. Paul didn't mean to hammer us into submission with that passage.

He meant to direct our feet to the place, the one place, where we would be guaranteed to find peace, joy, acceptance, hugs, a place to share tears and laughter...

...a place where we can get a sense of "We'll get there together."

We are all headed somewhere. It can be a lonely trek, or it can be an adventure.

I choose adventure, along with the people I know love each other and me.

If you are dreading church than I feel sorry for you whoever you are and wherever you "don't" go.

If you look forward to the "assembling together" wherever and however that might be, then I say you are blessed beyond your troubles and cares!

People who give watchful and attentive care to each other will never be lonely!

We will get there together.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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