What is courage to you? How about duty or honor or character? What does the church have to do with any of these? By way of an answer, let me say that the church exists in the in-between. The in-between is a strange yet familiar place. It is where lofty ideals and values are communicated in the midst of confusion and fear. It is where, in one direction there are good guys who are supposed to know what to do but aren’t doing it. In another direction, there are bad guys who seem to have it all together. The church lives there. Is there any wonder we stumble and get it wrong sometimes? But always before us there is the example of those who got it right. One such person is David. You will remember the scene, as the shepherd boy, David stepped out to confront the giant Goliath. Stu Weber writes, “With a voice like thunder, (the giant) taunts the terrified troops on the north ridge … From the far edge of the north ridge, a solitary voice breaks the silence. A youngster’s voice… But there’s something about that voice. It's intense … David shouts – that he’s willing to be the man of the in-between.” If you’ve had a negative experience with the church or have just dismissed the church as being irrelevant to your life, I ask you to reconsider. I ask you to reconsider, not because of the failures found there but because of the beauty found there. In the in-between places, where the church lives, those who are lost find their way when there seems to be no way. Yes, there is failure and hurt and disappointment. But there is also something else. There is Christ. Christ loves the church. So I ask you not to develop a perspective on the church which is based just on the stumbling of people trying to navigate the treacherous ground of the in-between. Rather consider Jesus. The church was His idea and it is perhaps where we learn best from Him about courage, duty, honor and character. In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Such words only really make sense in the in-between places. This is where people wrestle with issues, struggle for answers and begin to believe something better. This is where the church lives and it is a good place to raise the bar on our discipleship.
top of page
bottom of page