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Getting Beyond the Blur

Courtesy: NASA.com

 From the comfort of my couch I am watching humans working in a hostile environment to repair a machine as big as my house.  The journey to get to their project is wrought with danger, yet they are only too willing to risk their lives to reach their target.  The cost is astronomical in monetary terms, too.  Tax dollars, international funding, and donations provide this billion dollar joy ride for a select few that could result in disaster at any moment.  One might ask oneself: What on earth is so valuable?  Possibly nothing. On Earth, anyway. Not in another country or on another continent, but beyond.  The Hubble telescope provides pictures that make the work of da Vinci look like finger paint.  Though tremendous in cost and size, the most vital part of such a complex piece of technology lies in a simple piece of glass: the mirror. By reflecting and refracting light we are given photographs of the most brilliant designs and colors, eye candy that delights the senses and boggles the mind.  In a single snapshot humanity ponders science, technology, origins, history, and theology.  

 The Hubble project was nearly scrapped when pictures ceased to produce with quality.  Many questioned the ability to repair the telescope and the vast amount of resources that would be necessary in the slight chance that Hubble would function again.  Finally, the day came when the fruits of so much labor produced beauty from deep space. 

 These days, the church is also in desperate need of repair.  People are forsaking their marriages.  Families are withering in the heat of our culture.  Pastors are burnt out.  Congregants are subjected and addicted to what the world has to offer. Yet the church, rather than being a haven, a hospital, and a home, functions more like a coffee-house, dinner date, or a social club.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see churches begin to have masquerade balls, so many are wearing a feathered, bejeweled mask. 

What’s to be done then?  When the machine is broken and light isn’t being reflected what on Earth can we do?  Well, we look beyond ourselves first.  Pray, fast, search scripture, but as a friend pointed out, often when we do these things God begins to answer by “cleaning house”.  He brings those things that have been secretly hidden in the dark to light. “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” ICorinthians 4:5 But right now, we are failing to recognize this as the work of God.  We pray for healing, yet we try to put a Barbie band-aid on a carcinoma. It continues to spread, quietly, yet steadily.  So, again, what do we do?  When we recognize that, “Houston, we have a problem!” what should the church do?  There is no doubt things will get ugly. Exposing what has been hidden often causes emotional hemorrhaging and the church MUST be prepared ahead of time.  Expect damage, prepare for the worst, and equip mature believers to hold strong in a hostile environment. Without these proactive measures, the machine will breakdown beyond repair.  Marriages will continue to fail.  Children will be cheated, and people will live defeated.  The benefits far outweigh the costs.  “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10 There must be an intentional, ongoing effort with action and resources to maintain the church. 

 People come to church to worship, but what we fail to realize is that we should be worshiping on a moment by moment basis.  A pastor I know refrains from calling the main room in his church, “sanctuary.”  His premise is that is an inappropriate term.  We are the sanctuary.  We don’t go to church to play church, we should go to lift each other up, reflect the light and allow the beauty of Christ to overwhelm us, give us hope, and inspire us to show others.  What we need is to take the Light.  Reflect it.  Refract it.  And repair and administer to the church as needed.  Not doing so will deny the beauty of what is beyond us.  Just because we can’t see it with our own eyes doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  That goes for the Spirit of Christ and the hidden wounds within the walls of the church….We don’t have to accept a blurry outlook.

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