"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
On Wednesday, I wrote a bit of a self-indictment about presumptuous sins, the cynicism that is more than creeping. It's easy to nitpick the Church. You and I both know that to be the truth.
I have been told that the antidote for cynicism lies in many positions of the heart--mercy, peace, gratitude, joy, patience. But maybe all of these positions can be summed up into a more singular concept--grace.
Today I'd like to engage in a collective project, an exercise in grace giving. I'd also like to celebrate the church, the local one of which you are a part. So here is the collective question for today: what is the good you see in your local church? Would you share a short response in the comments below? It may go something like this:
This morning I shared a coffee shop table with John Ballentine. A friend approached and shared a concern. John, without hesitation, started speaking to the air, to the Spirit who was all around. It was not uncomfortable; there were no closed eyes or raised hands. It was prayer in the moment. He learned this from the leaders of our local church. They have taught us how to be the body to each other, and I am grateful.
Your story will be different, but would you graciously (and lavishly) celebrate your local body? Perhaps you'd like to take it a step further and write your own blog post about the good in your local church. If you do, come back here and share the link with us. We'll make sure to check it out.
And while you're at it, check out Kimberlee Conway Ireton's piece, The Broken Body. In it she celebrates her local church. It's a beautiful reflection.
Are you ready to extend grace and celebrate the church? Who's first?
Photograph by silent shot, used under Creative Commons license.