I was in my car. The radio pastor was not Joel Osteen, but his message was dangerously similar. God doesn't just want to give me a roof over my head, clothes and food. He wants to bless me with "things" - abundantly. I know the verse. I know the sentiment. I can argue both sides and all around and back and forth and inside and out. I can speak Christianese.
Some Sundays as I'm sitting in church it is all I can do not to start shouting. Our clothes are all beautiful. Our parking lots filled with expensive vehicles. Our homes...our stuff...our things. We have been blessed abundantly.
"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."
Sweet! I hope Baby Jesus is going to bring me an iPad2 for His birthday.
People. PEOPLE! How do we reconcile our wealth and the needs of the poor? Do we only give once we have all the stuff we want? Because God's hand of blessing is on us? Do we sell everything we have? Where is the middle ground between David Platt and Joel Osteen? Why do we buy all these books? Why do we pick one token "social issue"....
I have been wrestling. With this and so many other things. Church as a business. Sinners. All of us. Sinning. And loving. And trying. And failing.
Wanting SO BADLY to wrestle this all out with someone. Anyone. Anyone that won't pray a sermon over me. As I know I have done to others. (If I've done that to you, I'm so sorry.) Why do we do that? Why do I do that?
I imagine myself in a conversation. Puking this all out on someChristiansomeone. And I already know the pat answers. I can complete the entire dialogue (monologue) in my mind. I already know. The Christianese. We say the right things. We gently rebuke. We have the verse that supports our response.
Can you have a conversation with someone and begin it with, "I already know I am judging others and that is wrong. I already know that God is in control. I already know that we are all sinners. I already know that the poor will always be among us. I already know...Grace! Mercy! Love! Jesus! The Bible! God!"
Do I sound self righteous? I am! I am full of all kinds of sins. I judge. I have a log in my own eye. I already know that! I am on a slow burn to I'm not sure where....crazy?
...I sit here and simmer. Afraid to say the words out loud. I'm too fragile to face rebuke.
I don't want a prayer sermon. I just want God to be right here with me, so very close. And maybe someone else who doesn't have the right answers.