Like the Road Crew for KISS – The Motley Crew Called the Church

Do you think God didn’t know we would irritate each other?

Besides the fact that He created us and has been attentive to our sinful proclivities since the Garden, He also chose to hang out as one of us and really mix it up with the dust into which He breathed life.

He gets how crazy it is to use us to build His kingdom.

I mean, He heard his disciples arguing about which one of them was the greatest. Grown men, throwing down over ego.

He knew they’d had front row seats to His miracles and yet, when He called to them as He walked on water, only one of them got out of the boat. The others started checking to see if they’d gotten a text or if their nails needed cleaning or if the boat didn’t need a patch in one section. And the one who did brave the waves suddenly realized he was human and sank like a stone.

Do you think God didn’t know we would doubt each other?

I sometimes imagine the women who followed Jesus gathered with the disciples on the day after Jesus died on the cross. They had been at the cross, watching Jesus suffer and now they’re waiting in a room with a bunch of guys who not only deserted the Lord, they denied knowing Him. I think that’s probably the night the disciples learned to heat their own dinner.

The men and women Jesus called to follow Him were not the most homogenous crew ever assembled. There were “good Jews” and prostitutes. There were zealots who believed in the overthrow of the Romans and there were tax collectors who had been in collusion with Rome. There were brothers, mothers, fishermen and wanderers freed from demon possession.

The early church probably resembled the road crew from a KISS tour more than the makings of a new beginning for humanity but there it was.

See, God likes to remind His creation that He is behind every miracle. What better way to display His artistry than to choose material others would discard, scraps no one else would touch, patterns other artists would find entirely incompatible and weave them into a work of art that takes away the breath of angels?

This is the church.

When you look around you on a Sunday morning and see men snoring, teens texting, women scowling and musicians fidgeting.

When you look at your leaders and think about how their spouses complain that they won’t pick up their own socks or find yourself annoyed at their mannerisms or the fact that they failed to greet you that morning.

When you find yourself thinking, “This Bible teacher can’t even part his hair correctly and he’s going to lead me into a deeper walk with Christ?”

When you sit there knowing the secrets of your own anaemic heart and look back on the times you failed that week to live up to even your own expectations never mind everyone else’s.

When this moment happens look around you and think –

Isn’t God amazing that He is using us to build His Kingdom?

Isn’t it miraculous that we have come this far and changed the world knowing what Jesus started with and knowing what clay feet we still possess.

Isn’t His power and artistry worthy of all worship, honour and praise?

See, most human organizations and institutions hang together because the people believe in each other. In the church, we are tethered to one another by our faith in Christ.

He knew our faith in each other would be tested and strained. He knew we would grate on each other. He’s not surprised that we get fed up. He uses that to build our faith in Him, to carve out our new character, to strengthen the muscles we use to love others for the time when the love of many will grow cold.

A child could lead the Boston Philharmonic in a concert but only a master conductor can take a ragtag mix of inexperienced, unschooled musicians with substandard instruments and move an audience to tears. That is the God we serve.

There’s nothing romantic about the process. It’s work – teeth gritting, nail biting, lamp throwing, stomach churning work to bear with one another and to stay the course. But in the end, our faith is not in the church – our faith is in Jesus.

The church is His idea not ours.

Have you ever read a brilliant story, been engaged by the array of characters and impossible situations and wondered how in the world the author was going to bring it all together in the end? And haven’t you just been excited to go along for the read and watch a master author at work?

Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. If we lose sight of Him, we lose our nerve and we sink like stones or we hide in the boat or we run like cowards from the garden or we look at the flawed humans around us and judge and despair.

This is the incongruity we betray when we proclaim that we love Jesus but we won’t be part of the church. It sounds like a judgement of the church but it’s really a window into our faith in Jesus and His plan.

The Psalmist says: “I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.” Psalm 44:6-7

Do you think He doesn’t know what He’s doing? He’s the one walking on water.

Do you think He doesn’t see what you see when He looks at the church? He sees more.

Jesus knew what He was doing when He gathered His first disciples and when He called you and me.

C’mon, don’t you want to walk on water, too?

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