Please, come in and be welcome, but do not touch anything until we get you cleaned up the way we want you.
Greetings Dear Reader,
I remember that one of my friends growing up hated going to his grandma’s house. His name was Rusty and we got up to some trouble when I was in primary school. He hated going there because he had to be polite, proper, and quiet all the time. She called him Russel and insisted that he not do anything to disrupt the quiet of her home. Asking that of Rusty was simply a bad idea. It was not who he was created to be at age seven. I stayed at her house with him once. All of her furniture, her understanding of Jesus, and her entire life had clear vinyl slipcovers.
So often, I feel that we treat people new to the faith this way. We offer them a life in Christ with hope and freedom. Then, when they come in, we show them that access to the Father is a room filled with slip vinyl slipcovers. We insist that they sit, stand, kneel, worship and live the way we think is best. We put up the rules of the room and explain that this is the “right” way to do things.
When I first came back to this small Southern town, I was visiting churches to decide which one to attend. The first one I chose greeted me warmly and within moments a deacon asked me if I need to find a place to get my hair cut. He had no idea of the level of my faith or why I was searching for a church. His concern was the clear vinyl slipcover of my hair length.
When we put our preferences ahead of the love and grace of Christ it is like a visit to that stern Grandma’s house. We place our practices, wants, and ways ahead of the Gospel. We will let anyone in as long as they show promise that they will bend to our ways and become like us.
It is not what the Gospel is. The Gospel is a transformation of our inner self to learn to love everyone where they are and allow Jesus to transform them into who he wishes them to be. We make that inaccessible when we cover the Gospel in plastic rules designed to make us feel comfortable about the things we still need to change in our hearts. It gives us a space where we can ignore the things that make us less holy than we should be as Christ-followers. We accomplish this through the clear vinyl slipcovers of our own practices and demands relative to the ills of the world around us.
We are not like them so we are better. That is some slippery vinyl that becomes yellowed and cloudy over time. It cracks and no longer protects the beauty we sought to sustain. We cannot create a space that shuts out the world and call it holy ground. We will seal in our own failings and foibles and the seal then becomes a breeding ground for pushing others away. It becomes the grandma’s house that no one wishes to visit. Then we wonder why others no longer see that beauty that once was there but we no longer remember. We become so used to our slipcovers Dear Reader that we forgot what the comfort of plush fabric feels like when we are weary and need to rest.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, “That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Support Page on Patreon: www.patreon.com/aramisthorn
Novels on Amazon
Web Page: www.aramisthorn.com
This BLOG: http://aramisthorn.blogspot.com/