I think that a Church with a true community is like a group of students standing in line holding a cup of urine. Oh wait, let me back up a little... so every year, the student athletes have to get a physical at LVC (and other colleges, too I'm sure). The last thing you have to do is a urine test, so they give you a dixie cup--yes, a paper dixie cup--and after you've urinated in the paper cup, you come stand in line to wait for testing. When I was a junior, it was the worst because all athletes were getting their physicals around the same time, so honestly, I waited in line with a cup of pee for at least half an hour to an hour. Just holding my pee. The cup started getting soggy. My friend Allie stood there with her fiance holding her cup of pee. That's just the kind of stuff you don't want anyone to see, even when you are at the doctor's office. But there you stand holding your own urine. It feels so... I don't know, vulnerable. Exposed. And dirty. But it's not so bad since we were all holding a cup of urine. Everyone was in the same place.
So I think that a Church should be like that, too. Church should be a place where people feel welcome to stand there vulnerable and exposed and be accepted. They should not feel condemned. Jesus told the adulteress that he did not condemn her. Why aren't we more like that? I think if we shifted our attitudes and views of other people's sin and didn't condemn them, we would stop condemning ourselves, also. We would move to a place of openness with our community, so that we can actually walk together in our faith. We could feel comfortable sharing with one another in our struggles. We need to find the right balance between no condemnation and accountability because that's where Jesus is waiting to offer transformation. How do I love and accept others while keeping them accountable in following Jesus?
I think if I could just face the ugly truth that I, too, am standing there holding a cup of pee, I wouldn't be so condemning of others. Cuz if you don't do the urine test, if you are too embarrassed to stand in line with a cup of pee, well, you can't be an athlete at LVC. You won't know if you are healthy or not.
I, too, stand here with my dixie cup of pee with all the rest, so there's no reason to be ashamed. How can we condemn others, laugh at others, when we also stand with a cup of pee? And if I could have the courage to hold my cup, maybe others would see that it's okay to be vulnerable.We could move to a place of acceptance and no condemnation in the name of Jesus.
So yeah, I think that a Church ought to be like a group of students holding a cup of pee.