Friends 2007: You Are Always Welcome Here

Alwyn Lau is offering a blog feast again with You Are Always Welcome Here I still have not come to the place where I’m putting down my thoughts yet. Had some time of solitude today.

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“Micro. Quantum. Ghost. Liquid. Unconscious.

Cool ways to describe church, huh? From Roman Catholic to Unconscious – a deep ecclesiology.

If I heard McLaren right, he’s saying that church “happens” in any and all forms. Any (regular?) gathering of any number of people to discuss, among other things, God and goodness, and the presence and relationship between both in our world.

I think McLaren was trying to move us away from thinking about how-to-do-it frame of mind to a just-do-it paradigm. So if God can nurture his new kind of redemptive agent via twice-monthly latte sessions or tri-weekly cook-ins’, we should honour this process. And we could even call this church.

I was very moved by his story of a Cathedral pastor, seeing the small multitude of punk-haired ‘street people’ seated in his church side by side with properly dressed middle- and higher-class church-goers, who then whispered to McLaren, “I want you to let this people know that they are always welcome here.”

There is no male or female, no Jew or Gentile, no high- or low- culture, no sophisiticated or unsophisticated, no big sinner or small sinner. For all are in Christ?

This is so gracious, so redemptively counter-church culture and gives us so much hope that all those stories about people being turned away from church (by disgust, shame or hurt) can have a Go(o)d ending.

We ought to value and learn from these church-forms wherever and however they occur. We must love and accept everyone in Christ, no matter how shabbily they look or ‘unconventional’ they appear.

Even bishops and black sheeps of the church can be friends. Even if some overdress occasionally (smile).”

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