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Heavenly Hogs…

5October2011

I am not a biker.   I look funny in bandannas—and leather just doesn’t work.  I’ve never ridden a motorcycle.  My mom instilled me with a healthy dose of fear for my life if ever my checks rested upon one of those leather seats.  I am not a biker—but I kind of wish I was…  Not only does riding a bike instantly skyrocket your coolness factor—it gives you an “in” to one of the most authentic, genuine, and real communities.  I wish I was a biker.

My brother in law, Shawn, has a Harley.  He is cool!  He had a surprise birthday party this summer.  It was Harley themed.  I wore a bandanna—it had the opposite effect of skyrocketing my “coolness” factor.  The majority of Shawn’s friends are bikers.  And they have a community—a real community.  These friends are united in the midst of diversity.  They are committed to each other in the face of differences.  They give of themselves for the sake of others and it is powerful to watch as they care for one another.  And this caring and kindness isn’t forced or because of a sense of obligation.  It is genuine, real, and authentic.  It, in so many ways, is what I believe the church is called to be.  Yet I see us—me—falling short.

The bride of Christ is His church.  We are called to be a community.  We are called to be united in mission and ministry for the sake of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus prayed in the garden “that they may be one as we are one.”  This prayer has been the rallying cry for the ecumenical movement.  I’m all for ecumenism.  But I would love to see Jesus’ prayer manifested in the local congregation!  Wouldn’t it be grand if the local congregation was one?  Think of the witness to Jesus that a local congregation would be who was actually united.  Instead we bicker.  Oh, does the church know how to bicker.  And, far too often, we are passive aggressive about how we do our bickering.  We are called to seek out the best in our neighbor.  We are called to lift up others in the most positive light.  Too often we spend our time pointing out the worst and approaching others with an axe to grind.  Instead of building up we tear down.  And when we tear down, we don’t do it face to face we go to others and tell them what so and so did.  Christ calls us to a higher standard and a deeper community.

The Harley community isn’t perfect.  Far from it.  But what I have seen is a community that accepts everyone as they are.  I see a community that doesn’t judge.  It doesn’t matter how old you are or from what walk of life you come from—in this community you are embraced.  What is vital to this community is rallying around that two-wheeled beauty.  And it is a powerful glue that holds the group together.  Why can’t the church do the same?  No—why can’t the church do better.  On Christ the solid rock I stand!  The church, the body of Christ, this community gathers around something far greater than a cycle.  The Son of God binds us together.  He is our unity, our bridegroom, and our rock.  What would it look like if our acceptance of others depended solely upon an allegiance to Him?  Then, all of us would have a place at the table—even if we look ridiculous in bandannas.

SMN@CCD

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