Sometimes, church hurts.
We don’t mean for it to hurt. We don’t want for it to hurt. But it does.
When we gather on Sundays, we are imperfect people worshipping our perfect God.
When we post on social media, we are imperfect people sometimes misrepresenting our perfect God.
When we unintentionally shame others with the things we say and do, we are imperfect people hurting others in the name of our perfect God.
When we ostracize people because we don’t agree with them, we are imperfect people excluding others in the name of our perfect God.
And this is what we need to remember. This is what we need to hold on to. People may hurt us. They may let us down. We may hear a sermon on Sunday that just doesn’t sit well. We may see a post on social media from someone who loves Jesus just as we do, but what they are saying doesn’t feel right.
We will mess up, friends. We will fall down.
But God won’t.
We won’t always represent Him as well as we should.
But He loves us anyway and always.
In the moments when we feel wounded. Rejected. Pushed away. Ostracized. Shamed. Less than. Unwelcome. We have to remember that we all fall short. All of us.
And that all are welcome.
We need to return time and time and time and time again to the beautiful, justice-seeking, oppression-lifting, for the women and the lepers and the outcasts and the prostitutes and the marginalized, radically loving and inclusive ministry of our Savior, Jesus.
Institutions may hurt us sometimes, friends. But don’t give up. Keep pressing forward. Keep seeking Jesus with all your heart and soul and mind and Know. Know. Know. Know. How much He loves you.
As you are.