I know it’s crazy, but the first thing I thought of was Cheers!
Yes, the bar. A place I have spent very little time in my life.
But I love the motto: “Where everybody knows your name.”
It’s the place where everyone feels at home.
Where they can be themselves.
And most of all, where they are loved no matter what.
Of course, the people there all need to have a few drinks to be able to be accepting, but still…
When that show came on, I wished for the churches we served to be places like that.
Places where people felt the love of Christ for them…
No matter who they were. No matter what their problem.
I think people felt that from individuals in those churches for sure!
But I’m not sure they felt it from everyone. Churches are full of broken people!
But then I think about all the places we want that kind of love and acceptance. stop
There is usually some family member that fails to measure up to our desires
When it comes to love and acceptance.
At work, in the best of places, there is always someone we don’t enjoy being around.
The same goes for Church where everyone is at a different level of maturity.
Of course, some will be difficult for us to enjoy or even find much with which we have in common.
Maybe our expectations of Church are higher than other places.
But one thing we can do is to be the ones who love, accept and care for others.
We may not always feel loved enough by other people.
But that empty place can often make us more aware of those who need our love or our special welcome.
We can provide a welcoming place for people to show them the welcoming arms of Jesus.
Cheers showed a caricature of the real thing that we all want.
Love and acceptance. People who laugh at my jokes. People who get me.
It is only truly found in the gracious, loving arms of Jesus…
The One who made the first move toward us, to mend our broken relationship.
The One who created me from the inside out and knows me intimately.
And He delights in me!
The Lord your God is in the midst of you;
he is mighty to save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you with his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.