I Quit Going to Church

Dear Church, I was reading E. Stanley Jones again this morning and read something worth passing along, “The one verse which sums up the Christian gospel better than any other, I believe, is this: ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself … and has committed to us the message of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:19) God was reconciling humanity when we didn’t want to be reconciled, and the price he paid to get to humanity, in spite of our sins, was the cross. And what God does, we must do; we must reconcile humanity even though it costs a cross (great personal sacrifice). For the chief business of the Christian is to reconcile others. We must reconcile in four directions: between man and God, between man and man, between man and himself, and between man and nature. This fourfold reconciliation is the one business of the Christian; all else is subsidiary. If we are not reconciling, we are not Christian. The Way is the way of reconciliation. And the center of that reconciliation is the reconciliation between man and God. As long as the central estrangement is there between man and God, then all relations have the shadow of estrangement upon them.” Jesus said it like this, “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people” (Mt. 4:19) – “he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” As we grow up (and grow old), marry (or not), parent (or not), work, play, learn and otherwise traverse through life, our highest calling as a “people on the Way” – followers of Jesus – the Church -- is to know God and make him known, to experience personally and point others to Christ’s reconciling work on the cross and to allow his reconciling work to fully reconcile me in all directions. We call it “being the church.”   May it be so, Joel