In the church, Jesus pulls the knives out of our backs. We come into his church because we're faded and lost, and our insides have become an abyss. We were born into the church through water and blood, and the name of Jesus on our lips, while baptized believers spoke the words: Dear sin, death, and the devil, you can go to hell with all you want from me. Only Jesus can give me the forgiveness, life, and salvation I need.
In the church, Jesus gives back everything this evil world stole from us. He sends a preacher to tell us who we are because everyone else tells us who we're supposed to be. People want sad us, broken us, bad us, cute us. They want everything from us that God tells them they can't have.
In the church, Jesus welcomes the new us, the heavenly rich us, the refined and purified in the fire of God's Word us, and the dead and resurrected us, the us that no one else can see because they don't have eyes of faith to see the real us, the baptized child of God us.
He sends a preacher to tell us who we are because everyone else tells us who we're supposed to be.
But, when we look in the mirror, and other people look at us, we are the same. We are the ones who won't ever, ever change. We are the gravedigger. We are the horror story other people tell their children as a warning. We are the pretty little thing who wears diamond chains, who spits fire and violence to hide the pain. We are the ones who are not safe.
But in the church, Jesus reconstructs sinners from personal destruction. He remakes us, rebuilds us, and resurrects us so the demons that hide in the cracks can't get ahold of us, the devil can't break us, and hell will never know us. And we got all this from the blood that was spilled. We get all this from the blood poured down our throats at the Lord's Supper. We get all this from Jesus in his church.
We can be young and dumb, protect ourselves with guns, plant money trees and watch them grow, but Jesus will stay the same. We can turn a cold shoulder to the church, turn away and close the door on our cages, choke ourselves with golden chains, poke our veins and snort cocaine, and walk through hell in sandals drinking gasoline, but Jesus will stay the same. We can say to hell with the pastor and the whole congregation, and march to the beat of our own drummer like a lone soldier, grow older and smarter, and only take money to heart, but Jesus will stay the same.
Jesus kills money-stupid us. That is why Jesus is good, but he is not safe. He is the only person who is real in this world of fakes. We cannot change Jesus with a makeover, and he cannot fade just because we decide to paint him as passive and weak. We can be ashamed of our pastors, the sermons, the prayers and hymns, and the other sinners in Jesus' Church. But Jesus will stay the same, seeking and saving the lost and broken-hearted.
We can hate this, but Jesus will stay the same. He will catch us when we fall. He will pick us up off the bathroom floor. He will give us everything after we have lost it all. When family and friends do not pick up the phone, he will answer our prayers when we call. In place of our tears, he will give us a laugh and a smile.
So do we love Jesus now, or are we still in love with somebody that he never was? Do we see him at work in the font, at the altar, and in the pulpit, or do we hate the Christian we have become because we don't have control over the words, water, bread, and wine? Do we love God or the devil, and do we still need the fruit from Eden's tree? Are we ashamed of what Jesus has made for us in his church? That's okay. Jesus will stay the same, even when we disagree.
In the church, Jesus reconstructs sinners from personal destruction. He remakes us, rebuilds us, and resurrects us so the demons that hide in the cracks cannot get ahold of us, the devil cannot break us, and hell will never know us. And we get all this from the blood that was spilled. We get all this from the blood poured down our throats at the Lord's Supper. We get all this from Jesus in his church, and that's why we come into his church and why in Jesus we trust.