Last night I played basketball. I know for some of you this may seem like a typical activity for a Sunday evening, but for me its very unusual to be a baller. I got the call and dawned my mid-calf black nike socks, long shorts, a T-shirt and and an old pair of running shoes to head out and make it rain.
What I found from this experience was that I was “balling” with people who are exactly why I moved to Richmond. A former gang member, some blazed high school students (random walk ups), a few latchkey kids, a guy who is part of the band that won the battle of the bands, and a couple old friends. It was interesting that these people who I initially thought would make fun of my inability to make a jump shot or layup were encouraging, smiling, and loving their thing. Baller.
If you read this and you’re not a follower of Jesus you must think, this guy talks about church a lot. The reason is simple, I believe that the local church is the hope for restoration in this world. So my question is why are the very people that we’re trying to reach for Christ exhibiting more hospitable and accepting characteristics than often found in churches. I suck at basketball, they encouraged me. I missed shots, passes, and was overall utterly ineffective at the sport, the accepted me. I saw Jesus on that court (not just because they were yelling his name).
If we’re supposed to be Jesus in the flesh why don’t we accept people who are turned away by many churches or “christians?” Lets get down and dirty in our relationships for the purpose of loving and accepting people the way Jesus would.