A Sleeping Church?
I grew up in the church. As a little girl, I would stand next to my mom and lift my hands in worship. I experienced the presence of God, witnessed his miraculous provision for our family and loved singing about His transforming love and power. As I mentioned earlier, my mom was saved and immediately began an “ALL-IN” relationship with Jesus. She had been through too much to just adopt a new set of rules through religion. She needed something that worked and only a resurrected savior can actually help you thrive in the world we live in today.
My husband Parker recently shared with me an interesting statistic. Approximately 73% of America is considered an evangelical Christian. Yet, when we watch the news, walk down the street, enter our schools - it seems like the 73% have gone missing?
We read in Matthew an interesting story of Jesus “on his way” being interrupted by a problem. An influential Jewish leader had approached Jesus because his daughter had just died. The streets were filled with rumors of Jesus’ miraculous power and the Jewish leader was desperate. We read:
Matthew 9:23-26 The Passion Translation (TPT)
23 When Jesus finally entered the home of the Jewish leader, he saw a noisy crowd of mourners, wailing and playing a funeral dirge on their flutes. 24 He told them, “You must leave, for the little girl is not dead; she’s only asleep.” Then everyone began to ridicule him.
25 After he made the crowd go outside, he went into the girl’s room and gently took hold of her hand. She immediately stood to her feet! 26 And the news of this incredible miracle spread everywhere.
I see two powerful things represented in this story. I believe for many of us, our dreams, passions, gifts and callings have become dormant in our lives. For my mom, she was always told that she was a loser and would never accomplish greatness. When she encountered Jesus, she became alive. How often do we dread Mondays, waiting for the weekend to experience some glimmer of relief from the 9 to 5 jobs that are bogging us down? We surround ourselves with the hopeless elite. They have huge homes, designer watches, new cars and are the noisy crowd of mourners that scream from the rooftops “HUSTLE, HUSTLE, MAKE IT HAPPEN.” Our souls are desperate for life, so we file into church on Sunday and lift our hands in worship for a glimpse of hope. Then we sit quietly, in our rows, hoping that a 45 minute message will drown out the week of gossip, complaining and wailing from our co-workers.
Why is it not working?
I believe this young girl not only represents you and I, but the American Church at large. The newspaper headlines proclaim “The Church is dead” and from appearances, that can wildy seem accurate. Don’t get me wrong, the venues on Sunday remain being filled but on Monday we seem to have forgotten all that inspired us just 24 hours earlier.
The time is NOW that Jesus is waking up HIS Church. When he held the hand of the little girl, it says she immediately “stood to her feet”. It is time for the Church, the body of believers to be ALIVE, AWAKE and ACTIVE in their God given calling and identity. Too many of us are waiting patiently for permission to be the hands and feet of Jesus. When the young girl stood to her feet, we see that the news spread everywhere. Could you imagine if the Church in America was actively preaching the Gospel in their workplaces, healing people on the subways, releasing freedom at “walks” of God's redemptive power regardless of the pain and suffering of their past.