A few days ago, I was blessed to spend the morning talking and praying with two of my friends. We shared things we are excited about and things we are worried about.
At one point, we were talking about the church culture, and one of them mentioned how much she appreciates her friends that are not a part of the church world because they are so human.
For some reason, this comment has stuck with me. It confirmed my conviction the Church needs to change. I didn’t make a capitalization error. I mean the Church as a whole, the people of God….myself included.
I don’t think church buildings are full of hypocrites. I think churches are full of people who are afraid to admit their struggles, failures, and fears. Churches are places people go to connect with God and to do the best they can to follow after him.
Our failure to be human together inhibits our ability to grow as Christ followers.
I do not fault myself or other believers for our hesitancy to expose the areas in which we are less than perfect, but I still want to change it. I want to be more authentic for my sake and for others.
God became a human. He made jokes; he got angry; he cried; and he didn’t pretend to be anything he wasn’t. Jesus spent his time with people, and they weren’t perfect people.
He lived his life in community. The community saw him as he was, and he saw them as they were- no pretense, no hiding.
When Jesus was struggling with what he needed to do on the cross, he asked the disciples to come with him to the garden. He didn’t run off to be alone. He brought his people with him.
We need authentic community.
I am not a Facebook post, a selfie, or photoshopped image. I am a human- flawed, broken, and beautiful. I come closer to being whole when I am with other flawed, broken, and beautiful humans.
I become most whole when I am worshipping God with all of my life in an authentic community. Jesus was fully God and fully man. We must seek to connect to God and to humanity. The two are meant to be done together.
It is in community we learn to love people for all of who they are and what it means to be loved fully. It is community that carries us when we are too weak alone, and it is community that teaches us to lift others.
Let’s connect to other people today, and be fully human together. It is in the sharing we will find ourselves drawn closer to the nature of God.
*Originally posted at rebeccaburtram.com.
We need to let people into our lives because shared experience is a mathematical phenomenon: the weight of grief is divided and the celebration of joy is multiplied. Life was meant to be lived together. -Rebecca Burtram