Thursday, March 23, 2017


When I was a little kid attending VBS at a very quaint little Presbyterian church in Granger, Missouri, our class learned to recite a simple slogan of sorts.  With our two hands interlocked with fingers inward, the recitation went something like, Here's the church.  Here's the steeple.  Open the doors and see all the people.  When the thumbs (doors) opened wide, six people (fingers--all from Granger) had packed the place!

While I'm driven with delight to connect with any who are not yet a part of a church, I wish today to draw your attention to the simplistic concept above; see all the people.

Would you be one of those church sticklers over matters of preaching style, music preference, clock boundaries when you are gathered as a church; but you don't see the need to interact with the people?  Why can it be heard from visitors that the church wasn't very friendly when the church feels just the opposite?  One, the visitor could be a critical sourpuss or, optionally, have been neglected.  Two, the members could be infatuated with greeting only those they know and have deep fear of greeting a stranger.  Both go the very same assembly.

A call of Jesus that never loses its power is for us to have eyes to see any person we don't know and possibly say profound doctrinal things like, Hello.  How are you doing today?  The bigger the congregation the easier it is to hide from interaction with others.  We seem to believe that we are justified in ignoring those we don't know for surely somebody else knows them.

A call of Jesus that never loses its power is that every person matters.  If there is a glut of misunderstanding in society it is that too many believe that they are not important.  Bible stories consistently inform us that a fundamental need, which is always important, is to see people and then address them.  It builds value into their discouraged and intimidated hearts.

Every person is a big deal to God.  Granted, we can't possibly carry on meaningful conversations with everyone we see.  But we can step up the pace of intentional seeing rather than obvious glancing away in order to avoid meaningful encounter.  We are called to so love the world just as our Example did.

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