A Wrangler Kind of Church

Rev. Tim Radkey

In another five years, my daughter is going to receive a gift from her mother and me. This gift is going to be a red four-door 2010 Jeep Wrangler. It will be her very first car. It won't be considered a classic car, but it will be over a decade old. This Jeep has been a source of great memories for our family as we drove around town with the top down. We shared many laughs and crazy hair moments. This Jeep has been loved, cared for, and serviced—knowing it would be handed to someone we love deeply. This Jeep is not without its blemishes, dings, and imperfections but even those have meaning behind them. Bottom line, this Jeep will be given to her with grace (she didn't work for it) and love and will get her where she wants to go.

When I think about the question, "What church is being handed down to my daughter?" I find many similarities between the church and the Jeep with one exception, the church is a much greater gift and it was given to us by God's grace and love demonstrated in Christ Jesus. If she wants to ask about this grace, she can look to the manger and beyond. If she wants to ask about this love, she can look to Calvary. There will be no mistaking that this church is the greatest of life-bearing gifts she could ever receive. This church is here for her, because this church gives her Christ and always will.

This church she will receive from her mother and me is also marred. It is not marred by Christ, its true Bridegroom; it is marred by Christ's people. The people of this church have hurt one another. The people of this church have experienced division over some of the silliest issues, but rarely has it been over the content of the Gospel. The people of this church have also seen the reconciliation that comes from Christ alone. While the wounds have often been deep, the reconciliation and forgiveness have extended deeper still. Our daughter will know that Christ and His gifts are perfect and will sustain her until eternal life begins. She will know that the pews are full of people who are still completely dependent on the goodness, mercy, and forgiveness that Christ extends in this place. And that is a gift we can all enjoy!

Rev. Tim Radkey serves as pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church, McKinney Texas.

Created: May 5th, 2016