My daughter has a quite painful chronic medical condition that has necessitated some hospital stays over the last few years. Once diagnosed, she was admitted several times for treatment that utilized the most current medicines and technology for periods of one to five days. Her being on the sixth floor of the local hospital during her most recent admission was not a unique or unusual situation except maybe for one thing: she also works as a nurse on another floor in this same hospital.
So, my daughter, who has a chronic condition needing healing and also aids in healing others, finds both treatment for herself and the ability to treat others in the same place.
This sounds familiar.
There is another chronic disease that affects every man, woman, and child. And there is a place where treatment can and does occur.
The disease is sin.
Its symptoms may flare up often in some and less so in others, but it will wreak havoc for many. However, unlike my daughter's condition, skipping treatment will not just be extremely uncomfortable, it will without a doubt yield death in the end.
A Place of Healing
Like my daughter has experienced, there are places where many of the sin-afflicted find both treatment and the ability to treat others. These “hospitals” do not have the latest equipment or sterile hallways like a modern medical facility, and many do not have the most highly trained staff or even a building at all.
The halls where these healings occur are designed around the deeper needs of people right where they are, not the latest wisdom of man or the tools of his trade. Whether under an Asian jungle canopy, an air-conditioned auditorium in California, a two-room apartment in South America, or even a local park or street corner, the afflicted and the healed come together through common need.
This place of healing? His Church—The Body of Christ.
What kind of people do we expect to find in Church?
I offer that there is nothing wrong with a truth we may not want to always admit: much like finding the sick in hospitals, one should expect to find our churches filled with people dealing with sin issues.
I am often puzzled by the perception of non-believers, many Christians, and even myself at times: that Christianity either demands or equates with perfect living.
I read letter after letter in the New Testament repeatedly providing the early believers with “grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” But then within only a few lines, these same Christians are instructed to turn from their sinful ways and control their anger, restrain from using inappropriate language, avoid improper relationships, thievery, gossip, and boasting, among many other sins.
If the Gospel is truly good news for sinners, then finding sinners with sin’s symptoms in our midst should come as no surprise. Just like there is nothing unusual about seeing the afflicted in hospitals since that is why hospitals exist, there’s really nothing unusual about finding sinners in church since they are the ones for whom the Church exists.
Are you broken?
Are you in a beautiful season?
Wherever we find ourselves this day, know He has placed each and every one of us exactly where He desires within His Body, the Church (I Cor. 12:18). Come to this worldwide hospital without walls and find both treatment for yourself and the ability to treat others.
Grace and peace to us all indeed, from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
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