I remember back at Forest Park Public School in St. Thomas, I was late getting to class one morning (I blame my parents, even though I cannot remember why I was late) and on the second floor out in the hallway was a female student who standing all alone. I was mesmerized by this because she was purposefully standing outside Mr McTaggert's (I never had him and it was a good thing as he scared me) classroom during the Lord's Prayer. I was so intrigued that I remember asking why she was standing out in the hall and she said, that "her family didn't believe in the Lord's Prayer". I was shocked and for the first time in my life, my belief system was being challenged.
I have been evaluating myself lately and the things that I do. I have also been evaluating the programs that I oversee at our church and the way that we do things. It is not the first time that I have wondered it, but I am questioning is what I really am being what a Christian is supposed to be about? Are the programs that we facilitate really what the church is supposed to be doing? Is who I am and what I do, who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing? In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"(2 Cor 13:5, NIV) I think we need to constantly be evaluating where are and what we are doing.
When I look back over my life, I wonder how many times I stood out in the hall for my faith? How often was I secluded for what I believed? My fear is that the church of today has become so preoccupied with doing church that we have failed to BE the church that Christ has commissioned us to be. Are we making a difference in our communities? Are we following the urging of Jesus to "go" and "make disciples" or are we just happy to have our social committee meetings every Sunday morning? Do we just come together, sing some nice songs, drop some penitence in an offering plate, listen to some inspiring words and go home after saying our adieus to one another? It sounds a little harsh, but my fear is that there is so much truth in it. Are we just a program or are we the reflection of Hope for a world that is lost in darkness? Are we standing out amongst the crowds or do we blend in so much that our existence and impact is minimal?
I'll never forget walking away from that girl that morning and wondering why she didn't just jump in to class and be like everyone. But as I reflect, I hope that I am provoked by that girl to step out and be different for what my "family" believes.