An early childhood memory for me is going with my mother to church during the week so she could hang some curtains in her Sunday School room. I mustn’t have been more than 4 at the time. The empty church terrified me. I got mixed up some how as to where she would be and when I found myself alone in this big, old empty building, I resorted to the only resource I had at that time. I cried.
It seemed like forever before my mother came to rescue me from this horrendous situation in my childish mind. But, upon finding her, and getting back in the car and going home, I found great relief.
There are lots of persons today who are lost in the church. They have found themselves there by accident more than on purpose and they have no clue as to why they are there. Faith is not the main draw for a lot of church folks. In fact faith has become somewhat irrelevant. So much so, in fact, that their lives become consumed with how to make the church more comfortable for themselves and their focus is upon control and maintaining tradition for the sake of tradition. An emptiness envelopes the souls of these persons. They seem consumed with filling that void with activity and routine. That they are fearful and alone even in the midst of other people, makes little difference to them. They are lost and struggling to cover that lostness in things other than God.
Is it no wonder that churches are becoming battlegrounds for everything but faith? When lost people control church, they do not have a clue as to what church should be about, so they substitute other things for the things of God. Stained glass becomes of greater value than people. Choir robes and organ music becomes a higher value than sharing love with neighbors. The paint on nursery walls becomes of larger concern than the souls of little children who could be filling that room with laughter and joy.
I wonder what would happen if the lost were found? I wonder how church would be if those who hold on to the trappings of faith would let go?
I never felt so good in my early life than when my mother finally found me, crying and alone in that large cavernous empty room. Would that others would be found by a loving God and become satisfied with coming home to a faith where they know they are loved. Then perhaps they could love others who are lost and in need of salvation.