In seminary we’re learning how the Bible and church history is so filled with human messiness. Abraham and David were murderers but he used them to do great things. There are translation mistakes, but the Bible still changes lives. Young Christianity is filled with churches trying to guide Christianity well, but making huge mistakes like the crusades. But somehow God has used Christianity to shape the world in beautiful ways.
Well, this weekend some folks from some of the churches in town got together to build a deck. It was a beautiful thing they wanted to do, build a little back deck for this old lady in the neighborhood.
But I saw how all along the way all of us made mistakes. We bent over nails. We put bolts in the wrong spot in the cement so we had to drill new holes to place the pylons. We bought the wrong brackets so we had to hammer and reshape them. We hammered some thumbs.
But by the end of the day, the end product looked pretty dang good, and pretty much like we wanted it to. And it was definitely good enough to hold a perfectly good little party on top of it.
And I thought, maybe that’s what it’s like when God asks humans to build his church. We’ve made a ton of mess-ups over the centuries, hurt some people on accident, made some bad decisions, but God’s will for how he wants his church to look, is basically still achieved.
I mean, a bunch of churches getting together to help single old ladies rebuild their houses on Martin Luther King day. That’s pretty awesome, despite getting frustrated about wrongly cut boards and people cursing for smashing their thumbs.
And it would suck if we missed the party on the little deck at the end of the day just because we had gotten mad and left because people had made us mad, had seen some people bend over some nails, and we had smashed our own thumbs.
In fact, maybe even laughing about the mistakes we made, while drinking beers with each other and this beautiful old lady teasing us for the bandages on our thumbs, makes a party even better.
Raw Spoon, 2-2-16