My church

Many people feel awkward about inviting others to their church. And a lot of times when they get the nerve, they fail to make the invitation mean anything: as if their church is no better or worse than any other. We should all remember that the church is not the building.

————————

I met a friend the other day

and he posed a simple question.

“Have you ever been to my church,

the one up on the hill?”

I cannot say I have,

would it be your suggestion?

But before I make the choice,

what about it can you tell?

“What’s to tell?” said my friend.

“It’s a church like any other.

No better or no worse,

just a new place to try.”

If there isn’t something special,

why should I even bother?

Why should I cross the threshold

just to turn and say, “Good-bye?”

“Well,” said he. “What would you say

about the church you now attend?”

And his frown became a smirk,

not like Scrooge, more like the Grinch.

I found his actions awkward,

since friends should not contend.

But my church is also family,

so I answered in a pinch.

 

There is Herman and Paul,

Deacons on the ball,

and they each perform their task like godly men.

And we have greeters like Brother Bob,

who jokes about his sit-down job,

while he welcomes each arrival like a friend.

And there is Judy and Deloris,

with a long history here before us,

so they will always be a treasured pair.

We have Glenn, Veldora, and Robbie,

and Doris with her hobby:

she has hugs enough for all and some to spare.

And there is Margaret and Regina, her daughter,

who crave the Living Water:

the Word of God that makes our life complete.

Margaret use to play for worship,

now Nancy makes the piano her ship,

and sails each joyful note into a treat.

We have the Coach and Julie,

with her greeting card ministry:

she reminds absent members that we care.

And there’s Mark and his mother Tura, our Grande’ Dame’:

our Royal Missions Queen,

who teaches with compassion how to share.

And there is Jeanne, so organized

that the devil runs and hides,

cuz’ he cannot find a loophole anywhere.

And our church body would have a large hole

if Allen and Juanita were ever to go:

for they are a godly couple beyond compare.

The wisdom of this man,

so respected by other men,

is a leader like Peter, a solid rock for us all.

And his loving wife Juanita,

you’ll never meet anyone sweeta’,

and she’s the rock behind the man with a heavenly call.

And then there’s Don and Ellen,

the pride of Courtney Corner,

who tackle more tasks than anyone.

Like our Lord, they live their lives

like a living sacrifice,

and they never quit until the job is done.

To know them is a blessing,

and if you’re wounded they’re the dressing

that God might send to help your healing.

He’s the friend closer than a brother,

and she is Proverbs thirty-one:

and they’ve earned our respect and loving feelings.

There are many others — like James, Tricia, Rodney, and more —

that I can add to the list, my friend;

but I think I’ve made my point quite clear.

Though I would be remiss

to keep one couple off the list,

a couple the church holds very dear.

Pastor Steve and his first lady, Pat,

quick to pray or a friendly chat:

he likes to joke and she likes to sing.

We hear about sports and cycling,

ATV trips and what grand babies do;

but their love for God is still the most important thing.

 

 

And so I told my friend

that no church is like another,

cuz’ it’s not the walls or the steeple.

It’s the spiritual sisters and brothers —

it truly is the people.

   ©  JW Thomas

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