I broke down this morning and got a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. The cashier asked if I wanted cream and sugar, and I replied, “No, thanks.” By the look on her face, I suppose people usually load their coffee up with that stuff. In my opinion, if it is good coffee, then it doesn’t need anything extra.
On the side of the cup in bright orange letters it reads, “Caution: This beverage is extremely hot.” Have we gotten so low that we have to have disclaimers like this? It seems obvious.
I ordered coffee. It should be hot.
Last week, I saw a church sign that said, “Prostitutes, drug addicts, and homosexuals welcome.”
But it should be obvious, right?
I grew up going to a church where most people looked like they had it all together. It made it pretty easy to spot someone who wasn’t a “regular.”
They looked confused, lost, unwelcome, and insecure.
It’s the same way I feel when I “shop” at Brooks Brothers.
I’m sure I looked that way when I was church hopping after moving to Nashville.
In The Chosen by Chaim Potok, he compares walking into a church to entering a lion’s den. I read this book in 8th grade, and this is about the only part of that book I remember. The mind is funny like that.
It is as if there is more danger within the walls of the church. You can cut the self-righteous tension with a knife, but it’s been like that for thousands of years.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus’ most critical statements were aimed at the “churchy” people. Matthew 23 is entitled “Seven Woes” for the self-righteous. The entire chapter is a pump-up message for the Church.
The people that needed to hear the message of salvation were missing it. The outsiders were left out, but the insiders still weren’t getting it.
I prefer the church signs that say, “Everyone’s Welcome,” but that should go without saying.
It’s obvious. It’s the Church.
What can/should the Church do to show that everyone is welcome?