“There is no human convenience without human inconvenience.” Bill Lee reminded us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a life of convenience in worship this morning, a service of healing for those suffering with HIV/AIDS. Mike and I were grateful to experience the power of God’s Spirit through the music and the message.
In a culture that places a high value on convenience, the Christian life is not attractive unless it is stripped down and refurbished in the garb of prosperity and positivism. Rev. Lee admonished us preachers to “stop preaching like Joel Olsteen” a very popular preacher, with a very big church that believes blessing means material prosperity. So much for Job.
I am confident neither Mike nor I preach in the style of Joel Olsteen. I am also confident this makes what we preach an acquired taste. Accustomed to the flavors of convenience, it can take some time to teach people how to develop their palate to appreciate the depth and breadth of flavors of Christian faith. Living a moral life means we are willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of the common good. Christian discipleship is anything but convenient. “Growing the church” means we are inviting people into a new culture of inconvenience, but one in which people are accompanied through all the pains and possibilities of life by the community that gathers at the Table of grace hosted by Jesus.