“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Once I was in the hospital for 5 days and had a seemingly constant flow of visitors. They were quite friendly towards the staff, and lovingly acknowledged everyone from the doctors to the maintenance staff. I had so many visitors, in fact, that two nurses pulled me aside, and commented on how outgoing and friendly my friends were. They both asked me where I met my friends. “I met most of them at church,” I said. “What church?” they asked as they pressed for more information. So I told them. I suspect they saw in my friends what I also saw in them: The love of Jesus Christ.
It is often said that church goers are ‘saints’ and everyone else are sinners. But that is far from the truth as we all have the capacity and propensity to sin. Some say arrogantly (and blindly) that sin is what others do. These prideful attitudes are pervasive in our culture, but detrimental to both church-goers and the unchurched. Though we try with all our strength, none of us is ‘good’ all the time. We are all flawed to some extent and only human—we need Jesus to be lifting up all who fall short of the glory of God. That reality only gives us more reason to pursue our faith with fervor to be the best we can be in God’s eyes. The truth is that we are all sinners to varying degrees—all of humanity, indeed, and we sin in a variety of ways through sins of omission and commission. All of us!
Hospital for Sinners
In essence, the church is actually a hospital for sinners as church members wrestle with their own humanness. But church plays an important part in how we live, worship God, and grow in our relationships with other people and most importantly, God. Church is where we go to worship God, and offer gratitude for His many blessings. And that gratitude opens the door to the greatest peace (and joy) we have ever known. That is why we need Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Redeemer, who He died on the cross in atonement for our sins. That is, He died for you and me 2000 years before we were even born. So where can we find Jesus? Well, one place is through practicing our faith via the church of our choosing.
The Place to Go
Church is where we get together with other believers who also strive to love God with all their being. We need our faith community to cheer us on as we embark on this journey called life and struggle with whatever life sends our way. It is often where we meet our ‘praying friends,’ those who pray for us when we are too weary to do so for ourselves. Church is where we go to celebrate our children joining the faith through baptism, where we celebrate marriages to ask for God’s blessings, and it is where we say our final goodbyes to our loved ones. God’s house is where we go for solace when we are struggling. It is where we go at the end of the week (and some people during the week) to learn about God through heartfelt sermons, Bible studies and faith-filled fellowship. Unlike China and North Korea among other countries, we Americans have great religious freedom, with no restrictions on going to church, synagogue or even mosque. As is often the case, the only real stumbling block to growing in faith is often our own free will.
Yes, all of us are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. But the good news is that our sins are already covered by the blood of Jesus on the cross, and Jesus is there lifting up each of us as we fall. No sin is so serious that it cannot be forgiven by our loving God in his compassion and mercy. We need to learn to take it all to Jesus—every failure, every difficult relationship, every situation, all of our needs for healing and forgiveness. As the Great Comforter, Protector and Redeemer, He is there for us to lift us up whenever we fall and call upon His holy name. He is the one who wipes the slate clean, enabling us to start anew.
© Copyright 2019 | Adele M. Gill
Adele M. Gill, BSN, RN, CPC is the author of 3 inspirational books including ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson. From Broken to Blest is now available on Amazon and at Barnes at Noble in print, Nook & Kindle versions.