Public or Private?

I went by one of my friend’s house yesterday and knocked on their door. I heard him say, “What’s the password?” “The password is ‘open the door before I kick it down,’” I said, laughing. “Close enough, I guess,” he said as he opened the door.

Later that night I decided to do a short jog. When I was finished, I walked into the house breathing hard, sweaty, stinky, and tired. I stumbled to the refrigerator and opened the door, searching for some kind of refreshment to aid my aching body. Milk and Orange Juice was the only thing I saw. It was already 9:00, but I just had to have something that was going to quench my thirst better than those drinks. I decided to run down the road to Wal-Mart and pick something up. A Gatorade would really hit the spot I thought to myself as I hopped in the car. It was almost 9:30 when I got to Wal-Mart, and I approached the doors with some hesitation about whether the store would be open. As I reached the front doors, something neat happened: the door opened. The two automatic doors opened wide as I walked over the threshold, with a greeter giving me a salutation and offering me a cart to collect my shopping items. It didn’t matter that I was sweaty, dirty, or even smelly, the store opened their doors and didn’t ask any questions; I was accepted unconditionally.

I wish more churches were like the doors at Wal-Mart instead of like the doors on my friends house. What happens when a person that doesn’t look like you, dress like you, talk like you, or even smell like you comes into your church? Are they welcomed? Do the doors fly open and happy greeters welcome the guest regardless of their clothes or nationality? Or is it more like a private club, asking for a password or something in common before the welcome mat is officially laid out?

And because the people make up the church, I guess instead of asking is your church like that, I should be asking which person are you most like? Are you arms open with unconditional love when a person comes to worship at the church you attend? Or maybe your love and acceptance is based on how similar that person looks, acts, or relates to you. The next time you walk up to some automatic doors, remember that Christ accepted you with open arms, regardless of your ugly sin and obvious shortcomings. It is our role as Christians to love and accept people unconditionally just like Christ does.

No comments: