Recently a member of my parish shared with me this joke:
An elderly woman walked into the church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps.
“Where would you like to sit?” he asked politely.
“The front row, please,” she answered.
“You really don’t want to do that,” the usher said. “The pastor is really boring.”
“Do you happen to know who I am?” the woman inquired.
“No,” he said.
“I’m the pastor’s mother,” she replied indignantly.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked.
“No,” she said.
“Good,” he answered.
I think we laugh because we can relate to our innate resistance to being vulnerable, to admitting fault, and being honest about who we truly are. We work so hard to deny and protect a semblance of strength and infallibility.
This is not the community of Christ. Rather, the church is a community of the broken, of the vulnerable, of those at risk. It’s a community, in other words, of those who know their need and seek to be in relationship with each other. It’s a community who has learned that by being in honest and open relationship with each other they are in relationship with God, the very one who created them for each other in the first place.
See “Community of the broken and blessed” below …