I have a confession again this morning. The confession is not that I've sinned, but the confession does involve missing the mark. In fact, my confession has to do with the realization I've come to in the way I've wanted to "fix" the church as if it's mine. Like those who've come before me, I've tried so hard, in my own power, with the best intentions to fix the way we Christians "do", "play", and now the way we try to "be" the church. I've realized through a revelation in my quiet time this morning that I've decided to try and do brain surgery on something (the church) that only needs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We don't need a new brain, we just need to re-train the one we were given by the God.
Christmas is a funny season for Christians. We, most of the time, out of the goodness of our hearts love to show those our love by buying them gifts. It's a beautiful thing to show people how much we care for them by giving them something we know they need or have said they want. As a person who loves to give, I never feel better than when that gift is received with grace, love and appreciation. Most of the time it is in a smile that I see I've done right, or in a few words like "I love you", but more than anything it's in the way I'm treated as a result of what I gave. When we give a gift out of love, and the response of the recipient is to simply receive this gift in love, and then respond by just accepting the gift as opposed to feeling like they must pay me back, my mission has been accomplished. In the same way, when we are just able to accept/receive God's gift of new life to us, and the death of sin, as well as the taking on of the DNA of Christ as his Church and bride that gets to live in His perfect Kingdom then we will begin to experience the freedom of who we "are".
This morning i realized as an advocate for "being" the church, I am part of a group that is still striving to "do" it right. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am already part of his Church and that is where freedom lies. Freedom is never a response of guilt but of love. The same way that Eve was Adam's DNA since she was made from his rib, I am part of Christ's DNA as I am a member of a church that was born out of him and I can find freedom in accepting who I am in Christ. I truly believe with all my heart that a revival and revolution is coming from within the body as we begin to see, in glimpses, how God sees us. The beginning of that revival comes from the fact that we are worthy to be loved, worthy to accept forgiveness and worthy to be a member of the Church regardless of what we've done in the past. If we are to believe in a God that is all knowing, all loving, all powerful as well as everywhere at the same time, then we have to believe that God knew of our sins before we would commit them. The proof of him being aware of that sin is the sending of His only begotten Son to take those sins to the cross so that we may have fellowship with Him.
Nothing surprises God! Nothing! Your sins of omission and your sins of commission do not catch God off guard. But...what pains God, what hurts the feelings of God is the fact that in spite of his gift of forgiveness for sin, in spite of his gift of new life and a new marriage with Him through Christ, we have responded in finding out how He we can "repay" Him. If I can urge Christians one thing this Holiday season it is to learn how to be a great receiver. When we learn how to accept a gift, we learn how to appreciate the giver and the thought of his present. When we aim to "repay" for what was given, it becomes more about us and what we can do to show we're worthy of such a thought. It's hard to accept but you are worthy of God's love. It's hard to accept but you are "His Masterpiece" according to Ephesians 2. We can't make ourselves any more of God's masterpiece by playing the part of His Masterpiece. As His church and bride we are perfect in His sight and therefore we can begin to experience the freedom of Christ when we see what we already "are" instead of what we need to do, be or play the part of.