Lectionary Readings for Today
“The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of GOD.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership
My mother used to tell me that we weren’t the type of people to air out our dirty laundry. What she meant was good Southern girls didn’t go around talking about their troubles or divulging their secrets. (I can only assume it was by some divine corrective that their daughter turned out to be a blogger.) But this is a cultural idiom, not a Christian one.
We Christians don’t get to send our lives through the rinse cycle before showing up to church. We come as we are–no hiding, no acting, no fear. We come with our materialism, our pride, our petty grievances against our neighbors, our hypocritical disdain for those judgmental people in the church next door. We come with our fear of death, our desperation to be loved, our troubled marriages, our persistent doubts, our preoccupation with status and image. We come with our addictions–to substances, to work, to affirmation, to control, to food. We come with our differences, be they political, theological, racial, or socioeconomic. We come in search of sanctuary, a safe place to shed the masks and exhale.
We come to air our dirty laundry before God and everybody because when we do it together we don’t have to be afraid. (pp. 70-71)
–Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church