by Lenny Cacchio
She said she couldn’t be in our church because our church is full of sinners. Those weren’t her exact words, but it was the subtext of her complaint. One member once stole something, she said. Another gossips. Another has impure thoughts. People never listen when she tries to share her problems.
One by one she pulled from her gunnysack examples of how we each miss the mark. None of us could quite jump high enough to touch the line on the wall that would make us acceptable in the sight of God and man.
She was right. It all sounded very much like our church. It probably sounds a lot like yours too.
I once had a man tell me that he long ago quit looking for the perfect church because if he joined it, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.
If we weren’t sinners, we wouldn’t need the church. Neither would we need Jesus Christ, who once famously said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” It is no small comfort to me that the Man who ate with publicans and sinners will come to our church services if we invite Him. In fact, He comes precisely because we are publicans and sinners. This Master Physician, who comes to us because we are sick, calls us to a life of wholeness and repentance, which I hope we are approaching day by day.
So when someone says to me that she can’t come to our church because we are a pack of sinners, I must admit it’s true. Then I ask, “Won’t you join us?”