Saturday, January 14, 2006

Eggs and Church

This post made me stop and think this morning:

Did you ever notice how people in churches seem to be like eggs in a carton? People come and sit in nice neat rows, not touching each other in the styrofoam environment of Christian individualism and "right to spiritual privacy." The eggs might be Methodist eggs or Presbyterian or Baptist eggs or those generic eggs in the independent, non-denominational churches. It is important to know the label on the carton. No one likes "a bad egg."And one thing you must do when buying eggs in a carton is open it and make sure no egg is broken.

Read the rest here.

(HT: Kerry Woo)


Kayla said...

I just had this whole response posted for you and it erased. Arg. Here we go again:
I was just talking to someone at church this weekend about this same thought. I would have never related it to eggs, however, it follows the same thought process. Do we really want a church of scrambled eggs so we can grow together? Or do we want a church of broken eggs so that we feel less pressure in our own lives because no one else's life is perfect either. It's enough just to know they are broken, we don't have the will or time to sit and listen to all the reasons why they are broken and grow with them so that you can't tell one egg from the other. We just want an entire carton of individually broken eggs.
I don't know that very many people feel this way at all, this is just the thoughts of some of the hurting in the church right now. Then again maybe more people do feel this way too.

Amy said...

Hmm. Interesting thoughts--makes a lot of sense.

I think that, unfortunately, you are right. There are some of us--or perhaps, to be honest, some times when ALL of us--just want to know others are broken. Like you said, we don't want to pour into them or weep with them or extend grace to help them become whole again; we just want to make ourselves feel better. We want reassurance that we're not the only ones...and/or, we want false comfort in our brokenness--less pressure to get it together, as you put it. What does it matter if I'm struggling--everyone else is, too.

And we end up with a carton full of individually broken eggs, oozing everywhere and rotting in their containers.

It takes guts to make scrambled eggs from that brokenness. It takes getting messy with other people's ooze. It takes putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, trusting others with your brokenness--and, in a fallen world, sometimes even getting hurt, but persevering anyway.

Broken and rotting eggs won't nourish anyone--they'll create a stench that drives people away. But scrambled those can make a good meal.

In the end, though, the only way we're going to establish true community--the only way we're going to be free from our egg cartons and find wholeness out of brokenness--is grace. Acknowledging that we need grace, and actively extending it to others.

Seeking brokenness for the sake of brokenness is useless. Seeking it for the sake of honesty and for the sake of moving on from that brokenness to find abundant life--that's what the church is supposed to be all about.

Of course I can point fingers all day--but it starts with me.