|The Poor Lazarus at the Rich Man's Door,|
James Tissot, Wikimedia Commons
Yes, purpose. Another word for that is mission. And here's the thing - a church doesn't have a mission. Do you hear me? A church does not have a mission, a mission has a church. The Church With Heart is willing to go out and track that mission down so that they can attach themselves to it and be claimed by it. It's scary stuff, mission, because once that mission has adopted you, once you both have realized you are the church for it, and it is the mission for you, it begins guiding you in all sorts of directions, maybe even strange and dark alleys. Mission takes you on adventure, and adventure is wild and joyous and thrilling, but the one thing adventure is not is "comfortable." Mission shoves us out of our comfort zone because there's something bigger, another place we need to get to, and Mission understands that life will be better for all of us once we get there, so just hang on to your hat and enjoy the ride.
Time is precious, and fleeting, and running out, right now. Don't be a church content with maintaining a community of like-minded people where everyone gets along, because there is a fierce urgency that comes with our call, our commission, to experience and create that holy and wholeness-filled Beloved Community, right now.
Lazarus is waiting.