I heard/read (I can’t remember) someone say that their church was doing something merely because it is what church visitors expect. As I finished reading through both Genesis and the Gospel of John, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this comment. What church visitors expect.
In Genesis we see God do the unexpected. We see grown women over 100 years old give birth to babies, we see God create a nation from a person who sinned time after time, we see God give birth rights and blessings to the undeserving second born, we see peace made between rival brothers, we see God give new names and new life to people who seemed ordinary.
In John, Jesus unexpectedly turns water into wine, performs miracles no one else had been able to do, Jesus doesn’t fear the Pharisees but speaks directly to them, Jesus raises a man from the dead, Jesus spends time with ordinary people of no influence, we see Jesus give himself over to the Father’s plans, we see Jesus rise from the dead, and we see Jesus leave his ministry to poor common men who had been following him around.
I don’t want to do what is expected. The Pharisees and the people expected the Messiah to return as a great and mighty King who would rule over the land. They didn’t expect a carpenter from the ghetto to come as both God and Man. God is anything but ordinary. He is creative. He uses all types of signs, miracles, and revelations, to proclaim who He is and His authority in our lives. Why don’t we take risks when sharing the news of Jesus?
If church visitors expect church to be a certain way, maybe that’s why they’re visitors and not attenders. What if we did the unexpected? Would it get their attention? Would they see that churches and the people in them are not all the same? Would a wall be broken down between their heart and God? Would they see that what they expect from God is not in fact who he is?
Are we doing what’s expected? Are we taking risks when sharing who Jesus is?