Here is my favorite Super Bowl ad from a year ago about living your dream and the role of friends.
wasn't sure whether to attach this comment to your ecclesiology thread or put it here with vocation because it relates to both. I posted it here because it might be discovered if it turned up on one of my other blogs/sites.I am Nicodemus. I visit Jesus at night in secret. But not for fear of the Jews but for fear of the church. I have a secret passion but I have no way of talking easily about it. Because my life is conducted away from the parish. And it is packed to bursting point. But when I sit in church all I am told is about the need for unpaid parish workers so that the church can grow. So the church does not die. So I do my bit. And then I leave because its Monday and I have a calling to fulfil.I go to church pub nights and social activities – I notice the gap between what people are supposed to be doing and what they enjoy doing and how easy it is for the rotas to make time only for the former. The problem is that to bring people to faith you need to befriend them. I have few friends in the parish. But I have friends without number outside. So while I try to keep both halves of this unequal life together I am losing faith in the point of trying to keep the church alive by thinking of more ingenious ways of tempting people physically into it. Lots of people come to our church once. But they don’t often come back. So another call to go out and get more people sounds like another call to go over the top and to negotiate the guns and barbed wire head on. And as one of the officers its my job to blow the whistle and jolly the team over the sandbags one more time.Last week I went into a dingy room in Eastern Europe with a freshly translated but unpublished gospel of Matthew on the table. And the flipchart still in the corner with the translators notes. The first inter confessional New Testament this language has ever had. And I drank tea with those who had completed it and felt I was on holy ground. Throughout the day I had been on my feet training people in marketing and business skills. But all of this is negative equity for my church because this bum won’t be on a pew on Sunday morning. So other people will have to work harder because I wasn’t there. The guilt hangs on me like a weight. But I have learned to live with it. I now call it spiritual abuse. I know how to go into all the world, I know how to make disciples, I don’t know how to teach everyone to observe what Jesus has instructed unless they are sitting in tidy rows on Sunday morning. And I don’t know how to put any bums on pews apart from my own. And I wish someone would help me.So at night I nurse my secret passion. And Jesus looks at me impatiently and says You of all people. Not the church. Must be born again.
Thanks for this John G --- so true -- people don't want to sit in church on Sunday - that does not mean they don't believe and follow Christ.
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