Today’s Scripture – Matthew 19:14 – Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
This morning, I read an article from the Washington Post about children being recruited to the battlefield in Yemen. Again, the growing stench of poverty is being quoted by the article. As I continued to read I was shocked that people would choose this life to escape their circumstance. It reminded me of when I was younger.
When I was growing up, I remember hearing conversation about the impact of drugs and “drug culture” on our cities. We were told that young people, like ourselves, were being enticed to go into drug selling because of growing poverty. “What choice do they have?” was a question that we heard. How could a minimum wage job compete with that? What were the kids to do? But I wonder…What choice do they have?
Today we read in the news of the pain of poverty for so many in our culture and especially for children of single parents in the inner city. We wonder why our cities are in disarray. We struggle to make sense of anything we see on the news. But I wonder…What choice do they have?
I blame us. Sorry, I don’t want to but I feel as if I must. See, I read this article this morning on the Pew study of religion. It spoke about the millennial exodus from the church. In response to that article, I have read lots of opinions about why this is. What can we do? But I wonder…What choice do they have?
Over the years, the church has had the opportunity to do something. The church has had the ability to stem the tide. We have been placed here for moments like these and we…what exactly did we do? I think in many ways we have chosen to mirror the culture. We have made half-hearted attempts to be present in the cities. We have made half hearted attempts to bring change.
Yet while the cities are burning and our children are going off to war we wonder why young people are leaving the church? We aren’t any different from the world? We talk a good game but too often we fall short where it matters the most…when church is supposed to be a verb. We let it stay a noun, where the action (verb) happens to us. People LEAVE the church. Young people are too BUSY for the church. Or even worse many people I have talked to feel as if the church has been a verb but a bad one.. The Church LEFT the people. THE church is too BUSY for the young people..
To all my liturgical friends, liturgy won’t save us. To all my let’s be relevant friend. Relevance won’t save us. Jesus will save us. The church needs to be a beacon. The church needs to open its damn doors and not only let people in but get people out of the pews and into the world. The world needs more Jesus and a lot less whimpering. Let’s go be the church.