So the idea of church as a hospital… Jesus answered some folks who were criticizing the company he kept by saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Ever wonder why the people in church sometimes seem nastier than the people outside the church? We’re the sick. We’re sinners. We’re here because we’re broken, sick, we need help, healing.
Ever spend any time in a hospital? As a patient? Ever have a grouchy roommate?
I think I am that grouchy roommate. I’m an impatient patient: What are all these sick people doing here? Can’t they get better? Why don’t they heal any faster? Good grief look at this guy, he looks worse every day. Stop coughing on me!
Then I look around and realize, huh, I’m in a bed too. And whoa, that’s some ugly stuff, oozing out of me. I think they call it pride. Doesn’t smell too good either. Must be a secondary infection called arrogance.
I go to physical therapy and spend time jumping…. to conclusions. “No, no,” says the therapist gently, “let’s slow down. Why don’t you try kneeling for perspective instead.”
I get back to the room and a nurse is ready to pour some alcohol onto the festering wound. Yow! That hurts!! Are these people trying to kill me?
Maybe. And maybe that’s the point. Self dying, and Jesus in me growing.
I’m in for a long stay.