Why Church? It is a question that most of us have, are, or will wrestle with. Recently, I have been reading a book entitled "Broken but Beautiful. Why Church is still worth it". It is written by our friend Joseph P. Conway, or JP, as many of you know him. (He interned here over twenty years ago.) It is a powerful, humble, treatise on why church is still worth it. He writes this...
"Each Sunday, I meet with a very imperfect group of Christians. We meet in an ordinary brick building and conduct an ordinary service. Our worship climaxes at what we call the Lord's Table. As we prepare to eat bread and drink the cup, I look around the room. I see people overwhelmed with life. Some older members have buried spouses and children. I see middle-aged adults trying to pay their bills, raise their kids, and sustain their marriages. I see conservatives and liberals, traditionalists and progressives, Republicans and Democrats. I see some who were born in America and some who moved to America. I see some with thriving faith and some barely holding on to faith. Some have even lost faith. I see some experiencing deep pain that only a few others know about. I see some who have been very upset with me at times. I see others who think more highly of me than they should. I see little kids crawling all over the pews. I see teenagers, some bored and some engaged. I see some single and some married, some happily married and some considering divorce. I see people struggling with various forms of addiction and anxiety. I see people wanting to make a difference, to make our neighborhood and city.
These are my people. They have my back. This is my family gathered around the Lord's Table. In these moments, I look towards the front. A buddy holds up the bread and says, "This is the body of Christ, broken for you". It's so beautiful. And then, he breaks it. He breaks the bread because the body has been broken. We pass it around and we all eat it. At this moment, a sensation of transcendent peace overwhelms me. A hopeful reality sets in. I get a glimpse of truth. It may be broken, but it's still beautiful. That beauty keeps me going, keeps me coming back." - JP Conway
The church is broken, but she is still beautiful.
May you be encouraged this morning.