Tag Archive | church

Church

I recently commented on the Her.meneutics blog. The post was on the church. A very hot topic. One that brings out the preachiness in certain people. Are we really experts on what God intends church to be? I know that I’m not. The comments on this post were both interesting and confusing. What was church intended to be in the beginning? What has it become? A very weighty topic if you ask me.

I’ve had my share of church disappointments and as a counselor I hear stories that I wish I could erase from my mind. Many people have been disappointed and wounded in church situations. This includes those in the congregation and leaders.. no one escapes. Our culture is intense and the problems we face in the 21st century are huge. No church can meet the needs of all the people.. all the time. A few issues come to mind.. people have been abused, molested, manipulated, abandoned,deceived, over-worked, ignored, addicted, used, ruined, deprived..the list could go on and on.

No.. church is not going to be everything we want it to be. We may not find our best friends in church, our pastor may not be the one who should counsel us.. our bible study group may not be the place to share our deepest needs. Our church community is just that.. a community that meets together to acknowledge our relationship with God.

God is the center and He is the one who can lead us to other resources when we need them. He is the one who has a plan for our lives and directs our steps. He will never fail us. He is our closest friend and our counselor. He accepts us fully and embraces us in our weakness. Our faith in Him will take us through our darkest hours and our deepest valleys.

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
   You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
      you find me quiet pools to drink from.
   True to your word,
      you let me catch my breath
      and send me in the right direction. 

  Even when the way goes through
      Death Valley,
   I’m not afraid
      when you walk at my side.
   Your trusty shepherd’s crook
      makes me feel secure. 

  You serve me a six-course dinner
      right in front of my enemies.
   You revive my drooping head;
      my cup brims with blessing. 

  Your beauty and love chase after me
      every day of my life.
   I’m back home in the house of God
      for the rest of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

Ezekiel 34

I read this chapter for the first time..or maybe I just understood it for the first time almost a decade ago. It is a powerful picture of what is happening today. Here’s a quote ” What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flock.” How many people are being fed and nurtured inside our churches? Not enough. How many shepherds are only concerned about themselves? Too many. Many of God’s people won’t set foot in a church..it is not hard to understand why. Something has gone very wrong.

Ezekiel’s message is for those people The Lord says “I now consider these shepherds my enemies and I will hold them responsible for what happened to my flock.” God sees. God knows. He is pursuing those who have been hurt. His desire is to heal their broken hearts. He wants to pour the balm of Gilead on their wounds. His heart breaks for every person who has been hurt by those they trusted the most. He knows that pain..remember Judas?

If you are one of these people..remember that He is the same..He has not changed..He is for you..He is with you and you belong to Him.

God says ” I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for a scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered…I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak.”