Back in the early 80’s I remember sitting on a pew on a Sunday night being scared by a film showing the doors of a church locked and the Christians kept out. The narrator went on about how our “Christian rights” were being trampled by a heathen government, and that one day we’d all be forced to meet underground.
Now, almost 30 years later, I see something else. Today’s church are the ones locking the doors – to keep the world out. It’s a disturbing trend, but not all together surprising.
As location manager on a recent film shoot, I needed a place to feed a film crew and cast of 40-60. We had catering provided, so all I needed was a roof, possibly some tables and chairs. Fortunately, I thought, we were in an area of town surrounded by a half dozen plus churches of varying denominations – surely, I surmised, the church would love to open it’s doors to the lost and wounded, even perhaps offering to feed us. Who was I kidding? Not only did the church (churches) deny us access to their facility, but they went on to tell me how inconvenient it would be to rearrange sitting that had already been put out for the Sunday school gathering. In addition to the inconvenience of having us around, I was quoted fees for access and cleaning, IF we had even been permitted to enter their holy building. And not once did a church elude to providing a meal. This disturbed and offended my faith.
What a great opportunity the “church” had to bless the lost and wounded, to bring the love of Christ back into the lives of men and women who knew Him once yet have been wounded by the American Church. What a great chance to simply allow the nature of Jesus to work through sharing a meal. It is a crying shame that this “child” went hungry, thirsty and naked.
Wake up Church! See the opportunities that Christ brings you in His time, in His own way, and embrace the moments that cause you inconvenience and disrupts your schedule. By giving to the least, you have given to Christ.