WELCOME AT OUR CHURCH?
A woman moved to a new city and started working in a downtown office building as a janitor. One Sunday morning she visited a church that she walked by on her way to work each day.
The parking lot was filled with beautiful cars and everyone was well dressed. Almost to the sanctuary, a tall, silver haired man in a three-piece suit stepped in front of her and suspiciously asked, “Well, now where are you going?”
Pointing towards the sanctuary she said, “In there, with everybody else … to worship the Lord.” The man steered the woman over to a side door and asked in a disingenuous tone, “I want you to go home and ask Jesus if this is the church He wants you to attend.”
The woman replied, “I walk by here each morning and thought it would be a good church to visit. But now that you mention it, I didn’t really talk with Jesus about visiting your church”. And at that, the man opened the door, and motioned to the woman to exit. And so, without a chance to even enter the sanctuary, the women left.
The following morning the same man went to a downtown office building on an errand. Walking into the lobby, he saw the woman who’d tried attending his church the day before – there she was, polishing stair rails. He went over and asked, “Did you ask Jesus yet about what we talked about yesterday?” And the woman answered, “Oh, yes, I did.” “Well, what did He say?”
Without missing a beat of her polishing the rail, the woman said with a smile, “Jesus said, ‘My child, don’t feel bad. I’ve been trying to get into that church for years, and they wouldn’t let Me in either.’”
The church at Laodicea, like the church in this story, and many churches in America and around the world had become comfortable with what they had and who they’d become, even though God wasn’t.
It’s my hope that each person reading this post will invite God to use Jesus’ words from REVELATION 3:14-22 as a mirror that we hold up to ourselves, to see our motivations, to see our priorities, and to see our faith with honesty and clarity. And then, based on what we see, that we’ll make the course-corrections we need to in order to become more like the FAITHFUL church at Philadelphia (REVELATION 3:7-13), and less like the LUKEWARM church of Laodicea. Godspeed.