Rest Areas

>> Sunday, June 26, 2011

My husband and I do quite a bit of traveling by car … and I’ve seen my share of rest areas. Most are clean, serviceable and modern enough. They have separate sides for men and women … with regular flush toilets and sinks. Many of them have vending machines. Sometimes, on heavy travel weekends, they have a table set up with cookies and coffee. A few are slick and ultramodern.

Then there is the one I stopped at on my trip down Highway 395 last week.

The sign on the highway declared it a “rest area”. Imagine my surprise when I discovered an outhouse … with a motorcycle in front. I had to wait my turn.

Rest areas are there to provide a basic service … a place to go to the bathroom. And if you are desperate enough … as I was … you are grateful for the outhouse.

As I traveled on down the road, my thoughts turned to churches. They could be seen as “rest areas”. They are there to provide a basic service … a community of caring Christians. But they come in all sizes and shapes. Some are not much more than the “outhouse” style, with wooden floors, one room and hard wooden benches. Most are modern buildings with carpet, cushioned pews or chairs and separate rooms for classes. A few are like the Crystal Cathedral, made of glass and stained windows … with room for thousands of people.
But if your need for community is strong, the building does not matter. The “outhouse” church can provide the love of God just as well as (or sometimes better than) the ultramodern ones.

On our journey of life, we all need a rest area.

“And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met.” Acts 2:44-45 (MSG)


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