I’ve been reading Frederick Buechner again lately and, as always, am finding his way of putting things to be quite memorable. Here’s a quote from Whistling in the Dark that serves as a good reminder about what the church is about as we head into another weekend. This comes after a brief discussion of the structure and purpose of the Alcoholics Anonymous program:
Nobody lectures them, and they do not lecture each other. They simply tell their own stories with the candor that anonymity makes possible. They tell where they went wrong and how day by day they are trying to go right. They tell where they find strength and understanding and hope to keep trying. Sometimes one of them will take special responsibility for another—to be available at any hour of the day or night if the need arises. There’s not much more to it than that, and it seems to be enough. Healing happens. Miracles are made.
You can’t help thinking that something like this is what the Church is meant to be and maybe once was before it got to be Big Business. Sinners Anonymous….
No matter what far place alcoholics end up in, either in this country or virtually anywhere else, they know that there will be an AA meeting nearby to go to and that at that meeting they will find strangers who are not strangers to help and to heal, to listen to the truth and to tell it. That is what the Body of Christ is all about.
Would it ever occur to Christians in a far place to turn to a Church nearby in hope of finding the same? Would they find it? If not, you wonder what is so Big about the Church’s Business.