Why is everyone staring at you?
I love the scene from Elf (the movie) where Buddy’s dad walks past a department store display window in Manhattan only to discover his son is sleeping IN THE DISPLAY! The whole world is watching Buddy’s every move.
The truth is, window shopping is big business during the Christmas season. We’re checking out the trends, the merchandise, and the prices. The question just below the surface is always something like, “Do I want what they’re selling?”
Each time the church comes together, whether in small groups, large gatherings, or anything in between, we’re on display. And the world is window shopping. I was reminded of this by a recent blog post by Ed Stetzer.
The church is called to be both a sign and an instrument of the kingdom of God. It’s…God’s agent in the world showing and sharing the word of Jesus to a broken and hurting world. But it’s also a sign in the kingdom of God, a draw to the kingdom, a credible witness to the kingdom, etc., because people are supposed to look into the church and say, “That’s what the kingdom of God looks like.” In this sense, it’s a window into the kingdom that compels others to come be one in Christ with us.
Even as we shop at a window, we know there is much more inside. The fact of the matter is that Revelation chapter 7 says men and women will gather around the throne of God for eternity, and they will be from every tongue, tribe and nation.
Scripture goes to great lengths to point out the diversity around the throne. Thus, it seems only right and perhaps pleasing to God that our churches might be signs of the kingdom of God today in increasing multiculturalism. I am encouraged by the efforts I see, and challenged to move forward in my own life and church…
As our country continues to go through the Ferguson spasms, I’m reminded that the church is on display. How will we function as a new community, as a new family under the leadership and direction of Jesus Christ? Fittingly our current memory verse is in John 13:34:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Everyone is staring at you (actually at all of us) to see. What will they see this week? Will they want what we’re “selling”?
P.S. Join us this weekend for our new series, “Coming Attractions.” Can you feel the anticipation?