"Faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at a Triune God" - AW Tozer
I was thinking about our weekend plans and hoping that we aren't overwhelmed with the number of kids in the nursery again this week. Easter Sunday is a big week for people to go to church. If the amount of children in our class was any indication of the number in the service we probably doubled in size.
After reading the quote by Tozer I started thinking a lot about how that relates to the influx of parishioners on Easter and Christmas. I want to preface the following comments with this: I think it is great people feel the desire to go to church, even if it is only one day a year. I hope that what they receive on that day is love, acceptance, and the Gospel. I also know that just because you do or do not regularly attend church is not a reflection of the true state of ones relationship with Jesus. Church does not make a person a Christian, Christ does (otherwise we would be called churchians - and no one wants to be that).
However, I do think that the spike in the numbers does reflect a genuine spiritual hunger and shows a lack of discipleship between people of faith. We are called to make disciples. Disciples are not made in a day.
We referenced the parable of the sower in our bible study this week. It talks a lot about how we can so easily find ourselves overwhelmed by what life throws at us. I currently have several friends who are dealing with potentially faith shattering circumstances. Some have great support groups and others are facing things almost completely alone. It seems that Christians who are willing to stand with people, for the long haul, are exceptionally rare. I know I have been guilty of being too busy to put in the effort to build close relationships. But I want to be a disciple, who is a discipler.
I want to be a person who keeps pointing my brothers and sisters to that amazing heart of God. I want to be there through thick and thin. I don't want to throw in the towel. I am beginning to understand that as my "job" has changed from employee to momma, that God has given me the amazing gift of time - time to pray, time to make the effort, time to show interest in people, time to walk along side - because people are important.
Is there someone in your life that you can encourage in the faith? Are you struggling through something and feel like no one will understand? I encourage you to take the first step. Make the extra effort if you can make the time. If you need someone don't be afraid to be honest. ( I can't guarantee that who you confide in won't act like a jerk-wad, we Christians can do a good job at being giant idiots. Just try to choose carefully or you can email me and I'll try not to be a totally reject)
Maybe if we all gazed a little harder at Christ and the people He put in our lives, our faith would be more vibrant, more purposeful, and more life changing. Maybe then people will see relevancy in church instead of it just being something we have to do on Easter and Christmas.
(For those of you currently struggling through hard times, this post is not for you, it is for the rest of us who need to kick it in gear and walk with you, through it. Press on, dear one, and let us help carry the load)