‘Waiting on the Church’
By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“Then tidings of these things came unto the ear of the church…” (Acts 11:22a)
All over the world, in countries great and small, in cities, rural areas and on street corners, in homes and businesses, people are speaking in stentorian voices or in low murmurings about their fears of what may happen or not happen in their future.
We are living on a globe full of anxiety. Yet, as unnerving as that may be, it is also a time of great opportunity for the Church. It is opportunity the Church was created for.
The Church’s mission is to those who need assurance, comfort, love and welcome where there has been no welcome. It is to introduce to these same folk, whatever the maladies of their life, to a God who loves them no matter who does not and no matter what their past life has been. And now God has blessed the Church with a crop of these people in every corner of the world.
That the Church will harvest this crop remains to be seen. Because while the world is waiting on the Church, the Church is waiting on it-self.
It is waiting for itself to be consistent in its theology, be headed by a fearless but compassionate leadership, become aware that in spite of all the talk of peace coming from the Church, the Church is involved in a very real war.
It is a war between good and evil, right and wrong; between traditions that need to be adhered to and traditions that need to be left alone; it is in a war between those preachers who believe whooping and screaming crosses the bridge of communication between them and a generation completely turned off by this pastoral convention. And we preachers who do not.
The Church is a war with itself be-cause it judges young men by the way they wear their hair and young women by the fact of their past as evidenced by their being mothers too early in life or how short their dresses are.
It is as if everyone in the church above the age of 30 has been sin free all their lives. I don’t know about others but I haven’t been. Nor have they.
And why isn’t worship more joyful in our churches? I’m not speaking of being loud; I’m talking of being joyful. Of worship being celebratory and not commotional.
Why should it be joyful? Because we say we love a God who loves us in return, we say our treasure is in Heaven because our God is our salvation. That knowledge should make us joyful, our hearts should be full and our spirits unburdened.
But even more because we have come into church after a week of work and toil and difficulties and our God gives us a release. The world needs that kind of sanctum. It needs a spiritual abode where worship is freedom, not a conditional liberty.
Uncle Reece sings we have to go hard when we worship and worship until we pass out. The world is waiting on the Church to be real, waiting to see the Church they’ve read about in the Bible be the Church they go to on Sunday. It is too often disappointed at what they witness.
Think about it.