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Friday, May 6, 2011

A lesson learned from The Office

 {So there's this Rally to Restore Unity going on in the blogosphere, to bring unity among the Body of Christ. It was started by Rachel Held Evans, I highly recommend checking it out on her blog. People have been posting blogs and funny pictures of themselves holding up "Rally" signs...it's awesome! Hope you Enjoy! XXOO}

One of my favorite episodes of The Office is the Injury. That's the one where Michael cooks burns his foot on his George Foreman Grill (can I just say those grills are amazing...I have one and I love it). Anyway, Dwight leaves to go rescue Michael but upon doing so he smashes his car into a telephone pole (or some giant light...can't remember) and thus loses his bumper ("Dwight you forgot your bumper!" I love Jim), and suffers a concussion. But it isn't until the end of the episode that anyone even realizes that Dwight is hurt. And why is that? Well for one reason, Michael causes such a fuss about his foot. He walks around on crutches. He wraps his foot in bubble wrap (I love the conversation between Michael and Stanley "What does this look like to you?" Michael asks.  "Mail Boxes Etc." replies Stanley). He makes the office temp run around town to get him lunch. He even suggests that the office secretary rub butter on his foot ("I've got Country Crock!"). Michael makes such a big deal about his foot, that it takes people awhile to notice that anything is wrong with Dwight.  It's a rude awakening for Michael when he is told by the doctor that a head injury is far more serious than a foot injury. 

Now most of us would claim that, unlike Michael, we already know that. I mean obviously  the head is more important than the foot. So if we know that's true, then why as Christians do we spend so much time examining the foot instead of looking at the head (the head being Jesus Christ). How much time is wasted arguing over things like can Christians drink?  Can we eat shellfish? Do dogs go to heaven? Harry Potter the Anti-Christ; yes or no? Can you be a democrat and still love Jesus?  What about worship music? Is it okay to have an electric guitar? Or Is a tambourine a tool of the devil? What about dancing? Was the preacher in Footloose on to something? Or is it okay to bust a move every now and then? Which version of the Bible is the best? ESV (extra spiritual version)? King James? Is the New Living Translation just for hippies and whippersnappers?  What about mega churches vs. well...non mega churches? These disagreements are nothing new to the Church, they've been happening since the beginning.

In first Corinthians, Paul writes about the divisions in the church of Corinth. The church was disagreeing over who they were following; Paul vs. Apollos <insert democrat vs.republican/ charismatic vs.conservative/ Pro-home-schooling vs. not>. Paul said this quarreling between them showed their lack of maturity in Christ. And that's how we look to the world <insert non-believers> when we argue with one another. Just like a bunch of immature babies. Jesus said that we are the light of the world and a city on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). We have to realize our light is such a contrast to the world's darkness (or it should be) that they can't help but look at us. And like it or not, they are judging Jesus Christ based on what they see. And I think right now what the world sees is the Body of Christ attacking itself every chance it gets.

I wouldn't say the we have a cooked burned foot. It's more like we have two left feet, meaning we get tripped up easily. We take a couple of steps but then we stumble over little things like denominations or whether or not it's okay to clap after a sermon (or whether you even call it a sermon). Once we make our opinion known, we walk straight for a while. That is until some author comes out with a new book and we all stumble again by arguing about it. Like a dumb blonde reading the back of a shampoo bottle, we just keep repeating this cycle, over and over again.

Now I'm normally an optimist but when it comes to getting large groups of people to agree on things, I have to be a realist and say it's probably not going to happen. We're never all going to agree on what church should look like. Some want church to be a concert experience, others want a quiet sanctuary. And we could spend the rest of eternity arguing about who's right and still not come up with an answer. So what do we do? How can we have unity when our ways of thinking are so diverse? I believe that Paul has the answer. He says in 1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." Jesus is the answer. I mean why didn't I think of that. Any five year old in Sunday School will tell you that Jesus is the answer <insert will get you a piece of candy> 9 out of 10 times. We agreed in the beginning that the Head is more important than the foot, right? Alright then, well if Jesus Christ is the Head and He's our common foundation, what are we arguing about?

I love how Paul starts the letter in 1 Corinthians. He writes "To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ - their Lord and ours." So if we are all calling on the same name, the name of Jesus Christ, what else matters? Does it matter if I'm calling on Him by raising my hands in church? Or if I'm calling on Him sitting silently in a pew. If He's being glorified in the end, is one really better than the other? And is it worth arguing about whether a sermon is based off of a secular movie (or a blog based off a secular show) or a parable in the bible? If the message is Christ centered and Jesus is glorified, is there really anything to fight about?

Michael makes a big deal over an injury that isn't really that serious. And we as the Body of Christ have a tendency to do the same. We make a big commotion because someone doesn't "do" church the way we do. But if we all just remember what Paul said about Jesus being the one foundation among all us believers. Then though my Eucharist may involve oyster crackers and grape juice, whereas yours involves pita and wine, we understand that we're all communing with the same God. When we do this the Body of Christ will start moving effectively throughout the world, no longer bound by our own beliefs but unified by our belief in Jesus Christ. Amen!

This is my Rally to Restore Unity sign!

4 comments:

  1. Amen! I totally remember that episode...

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  2. Great post. Love your sense of humour!

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  3. Enjoyed your post....That is one of my favorite "Office" episodes :)

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  4. First time visitor to your blog, and just loved it! Thanks for writing the way I wish I could. :) And my sentiments to the "T!"

    ("Is the tambourine a tool of the devil?" really got me laughing.)

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