Tell Me Why It’s Good

I sat down here to write a completely different post, but when I checked my Facebook page before getting started I saw that a blogger I follow had a new post that I wanted to read. I did. It spoke to me. Now I want to speak to it…to her…to you…and to me. Her post was about how easy it is to fall into the darkness of cynicism where “The Church” is concerned. (Notice my quotation marks there, because “The Church” of which she speaks is the entangled mess that is the brick-and-mortar-Sunday-meeting-congregation and not the true Body of Christ. If I can remember, I’ll deal with that fallacy later.) Her post ended with the query, “Tell me why it’s good”.

You all know that I changed churches recently. While I like my new church for many reasons, it isn’t hard to find reasons to dislike it as well. It isn’t hard to slip into cynicism and bitterness and boredom and apathy, and the thought occurs to me to run…run!...back to my old church. Until I begin to count the ways it too disappoints. See, that’s the easy part. Counting the ways “The Church” disappoints us. But here’s the thing…

We. Are. The Church.
The Church.

Has it occurred to you at any time, ever, that you, a member of “The Church” have been one big flaming disappointment to someone else in “The Church” who needed you to be all that Jesus called you to be? Ouch.

It’s easy to expect other people to supernaturally anticipate your emotional, physical and spiritual needs, but it seems rather ridiculous for someone else to expect that of you. You aren’t a mind reader! People need to take responsibility for themselves and ask for help. Right?


One of the most instructive things I heard early on in my church adventure came on the heels of some real disappointing experiences! Someone told me that “The Church” is just full of people like me. LIKE ME! Dude! (To use my son’s vernacular!) That set me back! “The Church” is full of people, LIKE ME??!!  Well then, we’re in a boatload of hurt! Up a creek without the proverbial paddle. Lost as a goose in a snow storm. Blind leading the blind and all that.

Uh huh.
Now you get it.

This brick-and-mortar-Sunday-meeting-congregation that you have put your hopes in? It’s made up of people like me. People like you. Needy people. Whiny people. Cynical people. Selfish people. Fearful, insecure, neurotic and evasive people. (That’s an acronym for FINE, by the way. “How are you today?” we ask each other in church. “FINE”, we answer while judging them for not meeting our very needy needs.)

Here’s my answer to the blogger’s question, “Tell me why it’s good”.
It isn’t good.
Jesus is.

And Jesus is nowhere as evidently good as He is in His Church, because it’s full of people who desperately need(ed) saving! Praise the Lord that His mercy is fully sufficient in the wake of our silent judgments. Praise the Lord that His grace fully accepts those whom we have rejected and suspected. Praise the Lord for His loving kindness that soothes where we have wounded. Praise the Lord for His eternal faithfulness that covers our neglect. Praise the Lord that He says, “Come you who are weary and I will give you rest” even as we say, “Work harder, longer, faster!” Praise the Lord that He says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Even while we say, “Give! Give! Give sacrificially – Give till it hurts!” Praise the Lord for One who is closer than a brother. Praise the Lord for Emmanuel – God with us.


Oh! How desperately we need Him! That’s why even when “The Church” it isn’t good, it’s great. It’s great because we recognize in others our own pitiful, vain, busy, neglectful, callous, flippant, insufficient, broken, limping, wounded, angry-dog selves…and we are reminded of Jesus. We are grateful for Jesus! We are left gasping in the wake of His love for us, drinking in His goodness, clinging to our Hope with otherwise empty hands. Face down in spirit if not in body. Humbled before our God. Savior. Messiah. Healer. Redeemer.

Listen…”The Church” is only as good as you are. It’s only as good as I am. It’s only as good as we are together. And that isn’t good enough. Ever. If you are looking for “The Church” to be your all-in-all, you’ve made it your idol, because only Jesus can be what you’re asking “The Church” to be. If you don’t figure out that all your answers are in Him…not in the Sunday sermon... you’re going to end up like my blogger friend, sitting in your car on Sunday morning asking, “Tell me why it’s good.” And you won’t know the answer.

"How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while He is with them?" Matthew 9:13a