Saturday, May 6, 2017

May 6, Isaiah 53 The church should not be an attractive place

Most of us have a mental picture of what Jesus looks like, it probably comes from art by Da Vinci or from the shroud that so many believe was His burial wrap. But we don't know what Jesus looked like and the scripture tells us that he was quite plain looking. He had no majesty or beauty to attract people to Him. When Moses built the tabernacle God told him the outer cover was to be plain, it just looked like a big tent from the outside, but inside there was color and majesty. The things of this world that attract people are fairly universal. Billboard advertising is the same, women in swim-wear and muscular men with chiseled features. Or the hint of prosperity and luxury. The same message has entered the church, come to God and live the good life. I hear testimonies of how God just pours out blessings and lives are so great because this person is serving God. But I see more of the opposite. Life is hard, and personally in the 30 or so years since I've been a Christian for me it's been very hard. I've felt more losses than gains, especially in the last few years. We do a disservice to new believers when we portray the Christian life as successful and prosperous. It certainly can be but using the same things the world does to entice people is misleading. What happens when the prayers aren't answered? When the anchor that you hold to gets uprooted, where do you go? I believe that from the outside the church should look very plain, and that should include our lives. What we do every day is a testimony. Do you present the image that every day is wonderful or that every day sucks? I think the more profound testimony is one that holds stable in both the ups and downs, no matter what life may bring, where is your anchor? When things were going poorly for the disciples Jesus asked if they would leave, Peter said where would we go? Only you have the words of life. That is the only real attraction to the church, Jesus has the words of life. From the outside we look plain, and on the inside we're not glamorous either but instead of rich and famous we are more like refugees. That what the church is supposed to be, a refuge for people who know they need one.

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