Be Gentle With Christ’s Church

Matthew 18:21 “Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?”
I had an extra ten minutes and decided that I would run in quick (with my two children) and get my eye brows waxed.  Now, in full disclosure, this is not something I keep up with so every time I go in I get asked how I want my brows shaped.  Frankly, I don’t really care so long as they don’t wax them off.  So the cosmetologist meets me at the door and walks me to her station and she says, “Just your eye brows, or your upper lip as well?”  I was stunned a bit.  I said, “No thank you.  Just my eye brows.”  She seemed to really think I should reconsider and she responded, “Are you sure?  Nobody has ever suggested you take care of that mustache?”  Again, I’m stunned.  (I really don’t think I have a mustache.)  I said, “Nobody has suggested this before.  You are the first.”  As I laid my head on the sink at her station she brought it up again.  “You should really consider it.  If not today, soon.”  Then she left me to go heat up the wax.  I got up, took off my little cape thing she had put on me and walked out.”  The woman at the front desk asked, “Are you leaving?  Will you be back?”  I said, “I will not be back–ever.”  And I was sure to look as if I was in some great pain.  
I sometimes hear stories like this about the Church.  Somebody in the congregation said something stupid, or mistaken, and quite possibly offensive.  And so a person never returned.  Maybe they never returned to ANY church?  This happens.  People say stupid stuff.  People do stupid stuff.  Be gentle with Christ’s Church…they’re just people who need to be loved and forgiven.  Be gentle with yourself…you’re just a person who needs to be loved and forgiven.  That’s why we gather together as the Church.  So that through the hearing of God’s Word, and the assembly of the Body of Christ, we may know love and forgiveness being lived out.  
Father, forgive us for we know not what we do. Jesus help us to be gentle with one another.  Holy Spirit, lead us back to you and into community with one another.  Through Jesus who loves us no matter what.  Amen
Shared by Pastor Kari Vadis