Sunday, July 3, 2011

It Can Get Messy

Last week as we gathered it got messy for a few minutes. One child in the group accidentally dropped a bottle of soda on the floor. The photo on the left shows what happened. Carbonated liquid shot about seven feet into the air and landed on one man's back, a desk, the counter, and a few other places. It was sticky and yucky.

This was a tangible reminder to me that church gatherings can get messy. Explosive soda is a relatively small thing. However, sometimes more significant things happen. Sometimes personal interactions can get messy and be explosive. Why is this? The reason is that we are all real people with real problems. We are not all alike. We have preferences and opinions. We are also sinful.

In a setting where we are all free to talk about whatever we believe the Spirit leads us to discuss, sometimes things get messy. If we are willing to be real with one another, this is almost guaranteed to occasionally happen. Because we are humans, we will see things differently from time to time. This leads to disagreement about certain issues. The key is how we handle this. The goal should be edification through the process. In striving for this, we will sometimes have success and sometimes not. I hope mostly for the positive.

I would have it no other way. Little edification can happen when messiness is ruled out through planned ceremonies. Edification occurs when we encourage, exhort, rebuke, teach, listen to, hug, etc. each other. In this setting, we can all together strive for greater obedience to Christ.

Messiness is real. Messiness is a sign that good things can happen. I hope they do.

8 comments:

Jeffrey said...

It was a rather magnificent geyser, don't you think?

Aussie John said...

Eric,

Messiness is a learning experience about our natural state.

Eric said...

Jeff,

It was awesome. No repeats anytime soon though.

Eric said...

John,

Very true. It sure helps us see who we are and recognize how much we still have to learn/grow.

reformedlostboy said...

spilled soda is a big laugh for everyone except the kid who drops the jug.

No one feels the impact of messiness more than the one who makes the mess.

in that moment, they wish they were invisible.

Eric said...

Bobby,

Good to hear from you brother! I hope you and your family are doing well.

I think the key is for everyone together to help clean up the mess. We learn by working things like this out out together. In the end, we can only hope that the mess-cleaning leads to stronger fellowship.

reformedlostboy said...

Eric,

I'm sure you're right. It's just too bad that you can't wipe away peoples' opinions and preferences with a paper towel. That takes humility and grace, not to wipe away but to love in spite of differences. Frankly, humility, grace and love aren't as handy in most homes as paper towels.

Eric said...

Bobby,

Gathering in a real way is certainly real. The difficulties aren't ironed out like in worship services. We can hope and pray that present difficulty can lead to future growth all around. I hope so.