We are living in a broken world packed out with broken human beings. The knocks of life have a way of sapping our confidence, strength and hope, even out of the best ones. The gathered church often mirrors that reality. There’s probably nothing more painful than the feeling of dealing with the brokenness all by yourself – feeling invisible to the rest of the world and lonely.
As a society we find it harder and harder to care and feel. We are increasingly ‘wired’ with the illusion that sharing a family photo or liking a status on Facebook somehow makes us more connected with the zilions of ‘friends’ we have on Facebook. Yet we bury ourselves in mobile devices in public spaces and increasingly use the self check outs. We live in a world where Anne Laitrim was found dead in her home after seven years, the neighbours thinking she had moved away… The only ones bothering to check were those after her unpaid mortgage.
I dream and wish, as a pastor, of a church community that bucks this sad trend of ignorance, neglect and distraction with a heartfelt compassion. Not just for outsiders we are trying to attract. Not driven by self interest or a snazzy self advertising program. Not pushed by the leaders. Inspired by Jesus Himself as revealed in Scripture, driven by His great grace and empowered by His Spirit.
- I dream of a church enriched by a care culture rather than just a handful of overworked caring individuals.
- A people where we all learn to notice by listening and watching one another.
- A people where we write, ring, email, cook, bake, clean, garden, fix, give lifts, paint, sing and read to those can’t, fill in bureaucratic documents, babysit, pray, do hospital visits, weep and rejoice with one another.
- A people that know my name, my story, my fears, my dreams.
- A people where the magic of selflessness is at work: as I serve others, I am served myself.
- A people that are showcasing the practical simplicity of Christ’s love.
- A people where this motto would be the unwritten advert: ‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’ (John 13:35)
Lord, I want to care, help my carelessness.