June 14, 2010

No Provision for Failure?

Why do we not let churches die? Why keep churches on life support, when so many are constantly barely alive? Why not pull the plug? Why do we believe in resurrection, if we won't allow (or cannot simply acknowledge) what is patently death?

Why do structures established in one place so often go on to outlast the residing of God in that place? Why is anyone so vain as to suppose that a new church's future membership will continue to find LIFE and SPIRIT in following hand-me-down customs?

Why do we lament that churches are closing up shop left and right, in some parts of today's world? Should we not be more glad, if the life has departed, that the husk of that lifeless body should mercifully start to decay and dissolve?

Better yet, HOW does a church make provision for its own future demise? HOW does a people - once they've put up some shelter for God-in-their-midst - HOW does that people decide to declare themselves dead and remove their own husk?

Perhaps churches cannot self-destruct. Perhaps we fear it's unfaithful to simply dissolve. Or, perhaps, churches might simply try to build up less permanent structures.

According to God, via Moses, the Spirit of God needs a house on this earth that can still pull up stakes when the fire goes elsewhere. According to God, via Ezekial, the City of God sits on wheels and it turns on a dime. According to God, via Jesus, we should not make provisions for too very far into the future. According to God, via Stephen, the Spirit of God does not stay (very long) in stone houses.

We may fail. He must go on.

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