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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Jesus' Expectations for the Church


I was in Chicago all week for the Covenant Midwinter Conference. Martha and I flew in Saturday morning and I agreed to stay till Friday morning. By Wednesday, during the snowstorm, I was so ready to come home. I like these gatherings, but I like home more. I like the beg tent, but I love the local church!

So I left a wee bit early Friday, skipping the final breakfast. I got to the airport earlier than my 1:00 p.m. flight, hoping to get bumped to an earlier flight. It’s something I’ve done regularly over the years. If there is an open seat on an earlier flight, that opens up my seat for the airline to sell on a later flight; win-win!

Wrong! The gate agent said that they would be happy to put me on a stand-by list for an earlier flight for $50! In their relentless search for revenue streams, the airline I flew (nameless here) now charges $50 for me to solve an empty seat problem and allow them to sell my seat!

I declined their offer and spent the morning at O’Hare airport, tucked into a corner with lots of coffee, my Bible and computer. So it was not a lost morning, but changed. The bottom line for me was a change in expectation. What I normally expected from the airline changed! What I expected to happen did not happen. What they expected from me (to pay more money) also did not happen. And I’m sure over the coming years, traveling expectations will change several more times.

So what are your expectations for church? As you prepare to worship at MCC (or wherever you live) on Sunday, what are you expecting? Good music? Hot coffee? Solid children’s and youth ministry? Friends to welcome you? A sermon to keep your interest?

We are pretty good at registering our satisfaction level regarding our expectations. Our culture’s endless surveying has helped us express how satisfied we are at services and products we consume. The question for Sunday is what are Jesus’ expectations of you as a member of the body of Christ? We will be exploring Matthew 5:21-48 & Matthew 7:1-5 to get a glimpse of what Jesus expects of our life together in the church.

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