On a recent post, I wrote in reply to Dale http://lensgirl53.wordpress.com/
I liked your comment: “There is no such thing as a perfect church, we would have to get rid of the people first”. Your comment made me smile.
I once heard an inspirational talk from the American teacher and preacher, Mike Yaconelli entitled: “Conspiracy of Grace”. I have it on tape, I liked it so much.
Near the beginning of his talk he mentions “The Parable of the Great Banquet” (Luke 15:15-23).
A certain man is preparing a great banquet to which he had invited many important guests. When everything is prepared, he sends out his servants to tell the invited guests ‘All is ready.’ All of a sudden, none of his guests can go. One person says: ‘I have to prepare a foundation’. Another one says ‘I’ve gotta go to my daughter’s wedding.’ One by one, each guest comes up with an excuse. Finally no-one who was invited can go. Not one can go. The man is angry and so he sends his servants out into the streets instructing them to invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. The servants report back to their master that the house is not yet full. Imagine that. He’s got all the crystal, he’s got all the linen, he’s got everything prepared and ready. And the house is only half full. There is still more room. And so the master sends the servants out into the country lanes and instructs them to drag the people in. Anybody you meet, the homeless, the feckless, anyone at all. Just bring them on in. And so they go into the country lanes. “What are you doing? “Nothing!” “Well, now you’re coming with me.’ They weren’t all the fancy people, the neat people, the rich people who were originally invited. It was us.
This parable, says Mike Yaconelli, is the parable of the Church. “This hodge-podge group of people who weren’t invited in the first place but ended up showing up! Not the fancy, neat, rich, powerful people who were all too busy. None of them would come. We ended up here. We are the Church. Us, the misfits. This is the conspiracy of Grace”.
And so I agree with you. There is no perfect Church. We are in it, us, this hodge-podge of mixed up, messed up people who weren’t invited in the first place, yet ended up showing up.
The conspiracy of grace