Last Sunday I went to the church where Xchange student, Rachel, has her placement. She has been working with a group of young actors preparing a drama. Rachel loves drama and Rachel loves the Lord so I thought this would be a good thing to see. A big banner across the front of the sanctuary read “ENOUGH”. The drama was a very fun one which challenged us to be satisfied with Jesus, that He is enough for us and that nothing else will ever be enough for us.
We live in an avaricious culture. We too often measure our lives by what we have. I spend quite a bit of time with people most of us would consider poor and they are not exempt from this worldly point of view. The issue isn’t what do I have but what don’t I have. Either way the question shows what I call a “gimme, gimme” heart. The younger son in the Parable of The Loving Father demonstrates this “gimme” heart when he asks his father “give me my inheritance”. The older brother shows the same heart when he says “you never gave me even a young goat…” Both suffer from this pervasive heart condition but the younger son has a change of heart! He says “I will arise and go to my father and say make me…”, and in saying this he transitions from a “gimme” heart” to a “make me” heart.
Our culture gives us a scorecard that measures only accumulation. Even successful churches are measured by attendance figures and budgets. This begs the question “How did we get like this?” but perhaps the better question is “How do we change?” The Bible suggests the only way to true change is repentance. As we acknowledge our wrong and culturally biased attitudes and seek with His help to follow a renewed path, God can enable us to be the distinct “peculiar” people we are meant to be.
The scorecard then for Christians and for the Church will be love. The questions will be “How well have I loved?” and “How well are we loving?” To be a ‘sucessful’ Church ought to mean finding the best answers to these questions in a local context. This is not just a challenge for the Church. It is the challenge! This challenge will drive us to Jesus where we will find that He alone is enough.