It takes a lot of humility to ...
Our C-Group has been involved in watching and discussing Regent University’s Reframe course. Most recently the discussion focused around the Spirit and the Church and the idea that all of us are pulled into the story of the Kingdom as it is worked out in the world. Furthermore, it is the church, throughout history, with all its flaws that God has ordained to be the carrier of this mission. It is in this context that the speaker made an extraordinary statement, namely, it takes a lot of humility to go to church.
For some reason this statement really struck me and we had quite a discussion on the truth of the statement. For starters coming to church takes humility because things are not always optimized for my tastes. We frequently sing songs that aren’t my groove. Not all of the scripture teaching is that exciting, or even that pertinent, at least not at first blush. In church we put up with people who are different than us. They are often challenging, seeing things differently than me. It takes humility to go to church.
It also takes humility to go to church because going to church is an admission of need. We need to hear from the Lord, to be taught from his Word. We need the fellowship of other believers. We need their care. We need their encouragement. Admission of need is not natural in our DIY society.
To take the idea of need one step further going to church requires humility because it will expose my flaws. Different than the need that we have as outlined above, going to church exposes how desperate I am for mercy. How much I need people to extend grace because I am frankly not a nice guy. I am self absorbed, quick tempered, and just as prone to hurt you as I am to bless you. But that is the irony of coming to a church where God is truly worshiped and lived. It is right at this place of ugliness that we have the best chance to actually experience what the Gospel is all about. As I receive mercy when I least deserve it from a sister or brother in Christ, I truly taste the life giving fountain of grace that flows from the Savior through His people.
So it is true, going to church will require humility. But it is in going to church that I taste and see that the Lord is good!