If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:13 NLT
Sometimes I do stuff that, well, I simply don’t understand myself.
Like the movie Moneyball, for instance.
I guess I’ve watched that movie about fifteen times!
It seems I am drawn to that story, though at first, I couldn’t figure out, “Why?”
I don’t follow baseball. Sports isn’t my thing. In fact, I rarely watch any sporting events at all.
And yet, it seems, I can’t get enough of that amazing story.
“Moneyball” reaching out?
I think that’s what the best stories do–they reach out to their audience, drawing them in, (and if you’re very good,) make you think, ponder change, and then “reach out” yourself.
Moneyball, the movie, definitely does that for me!
I am especially fond of its vivid “one-liners” that grab your soul and won’t turn loose.
“It’s always the first guy through the wall that gets bloody.”
I have pondered that one quite a bit.
Church in need of CHANGE
I don’t think you have to be a genius to realize that “The Church” needs to change a few things.
Like how we view people for starters. And how we manage the issue of our Prodigals for another. Anyone who has looked at the statistics on declining church attendance should be able to figure that one out…
- The power of God’s message hasn’t changed.
- People’s desperate need for peace of heart and mind hasn’t changed.
- And, no one with a gram of sense, thinks this globe of ours isn’t a royal mess.
So, I asked myself, “Then why are people bailing out on churches in record numbers?”
Refuge in the time of storm
I love the Book of Isaiah, especially these words:
But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall,ISAIAH 25:4 NLT
This is exactly WHO God is–He hasn’t changed.
But, does this describe our churches? And if not, why not?
Island of Misfit Toys?
This is one of the analogies that captured my imagination from Moneyball, a wonderful story about a frustrated manager of a losing baseball team who decides things have got to change!
So, he chooses a bunch of guys that no other team wants.
When I pondered the picture I thought, “This is what the Church is like!”
I mean, who in their right mind would have chosen those original twelve disciples to change the whole world and turn it upside down? (But, Jesus did!) He chose a bunch of misfit, riff-raff, ne’er-do-well’s of their day, who He proudly proclaimed, “On these I will build my Church.”
Really? This messed up crew?
God just doesn’t LOOK at people like we do, does He?
So, what if expecting a church to be full of Saints with perfectly shiny lives, we looked at the Church instead, as an island of misfit toys?
Messed up surely.
But, greatly beloved of God?
Absolutely! Every “miss fit” one of them.
Adonai, my strength, my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of affliction,
to You will the nations come
from the ends of the earth and say:
“Our fathers have inherited nothing
but lies, futility and useless things.”JEREMIAH 16:19 TREE OF LIFE