I was talking to (I’m always talking to someone) a young bloke at our community BBQ yesterday morning about the place of the church in the community and he said something profound.
“The church scratches our back, so we will scratch its back!”
He and his family are not church goers in the normal sense of the term churchgoer. Like many others in the area, he has had his share of heart ache and pain. Apart from the normal face of bravado which is a needed survival tool in the area, there are few pretence’s. If they don’t like you, they will tell you. If they do like you; they probably wont tell you to your face, but will step in and tell others to back off and leave you be. These guys are survivors. Society see’s them as school dropouts. I see them as young men struggling with identity and extremely painful experiences of life. Abuse. Broken families. Addictions. Violence. Anger. Put downs.
But after four years of connection, they consider the church their own. They can’t tell you the nuances of how many angels can fit on a pin head. They don’t know the history of the reformation. They don’t know what a Calvinist, Methodist, or Anglican is. Many of them can’t read at all, yet alone know the Scriptures. But, they do know the power of love. They are responding to the power of love. Practical love. Care and concern.
And yesterday I was so proud of the young men / youths who eagerly helped set up and pack up the equipment. Without being asked they packed the tables and BBQ away. And while society may look down on them with disdain: I know our heavenly father is watching them with a twinkle in his eyes, laughing and saying.. There goes my boys.. for I am for them and not against them.