So, I’ve come off the mountain…literally. I drove home from Montreat this afternoon and returned home to everything that I left before heading to the conference. I returned home before the kids got home from school so I was going through the mail that came, replied to emails, continued the never ending laundry process, and unloaded some groceries I picked up on the way. The kids got home a few minutes ago and I was blessed by the big hugs and the “we’re glad you’re home!” that I received. My dear wife is still at an event until probably 5 or so, so I haven’t seen her yet. So, reality is here once again.
As I get back to the church tomorrow, what’s next?
I was struck by the contrast I saw on a hike the other day at Montreat. I was walking up to the chapel and saw the sign for its street with the cross in the background. Lookout Rd. I think that’s a good name for where the church should be. It should be a place that echoes the sense of Aslan in Narnia – the church isn’t “safe” but it sure is good. It is a safe place for people for refuge, forgiveness, hope. But it shouldn’t be safe when it comes to our response to injustice in the world. One of the speakers this week said, “There were times Jesus needed to be a jerk, why not us?”
The other part of this picture that struck me was the cobwebs on the corner of the sign. I think that is very representative of where the church has been unfortunately. Cobwebs aren’t spun on things that move – they are spun on objects that stay in the same place or move so very slowly. Again, this is the place that the church has been. When it comes to racism, to oppression, to witnessing to the truth of the Gospel, we have too long stood on the sidelines hoping that things might change. But that cannot be the case.
That’s my prayer for returning from the mountaintop – shaking off the cobwebs that may have grown on me, that may have grown on the church I serve, that may have grown on the denomination that I am a part of, that may have grown on the capital-c Church that we are all a part of.
Just as people probably had a sense back in the day of, “wow – Jesus is here!”, I’d love to move to a place where people are saying in the same sense, “wow – Jesus’ people are here! Look out!