October 13, 2019
The door into the fellowship hall was broken and had been for some time. It was one of those double swing doors that open both ways, or rather, it was supposed to. It didn’t, since one of the hinges had given up the ghost. Some of the men decided to take a look at it. They were part of a group that had recently joined the church, when their own congregation had been closed down. They were all retired, with time on their hands, so they gathered their tool kits and got to work.
One of the elders happened to be in the church that day; she noticed the group of men working on the door. They had already removed the hinges and were getting ready to replace them. Unfortunately, since the originals had been custom-made, they were having to use store bought alternatives. They were not exactly the same, but they would work. “I didn’t know that was scheduled,” said the elder. “Oh, nobody told us to do it,” one of the men replied. “We just saw that it needed to be done.” “Well, only the Session can authorize work on the property,” said the elder. “You’ll have to get permission first.” So, they packed up their tools and took them home, and never offered to help again.
Unfortunately, this is a true story. Fortunately, it’s not from Lake Jackson. But, this sort of thing happens all too easily. We establish our bailiwicks and protect them. We fail to communicate properly and suffer the consequences. We make assumptions about one another and end up in opposing camps. How sad! And what a dreadful witness to the world. This is not how it should be. But, if we do not take seriously Christ’s call to live together in mutual forbearance and love, the door to true fellowship will remain broken.