Sometimes I make things all whole lot more complicated than they should be. I hope I’m not alone, but probably not.
Let me explain. For the last couple of weeks, I have been working to get our swimming pool ready for the season. During the winter, the pool is covered with a protective top, keeping leaves and other debris from getting in. Unfortunately, this year I waited a little too long to take the covering off. Here in South Texas the days have been warm for some time now. The result is that when it was finally uncovered, the water had a slight greenish tint to it. It wasn’t as bad as it has been in the past, but it still took some work to get cleaned up and ready to use.
Here is the process:
1. Shock the pool and add algaecide.
2. Run the filter 24/7.
3. Get in and brush it down.
4. Drain and clean the filter.
5. Repeat the process every day for several days.
Here is what I’ve discovered. The longer I wait to work on my pool each year, the harder it is to get it ready to swim in. Once out of balance, if I attempt to take shortcuts it rarely works and I make the situation worse. This leads to losing my patience, getting angry, and driving people away. In all honesty, keeping my pool clean isn’t really that hard. It’s when I don’t spend the time necessary and do the regular upkeep that my troubles begin. Remembering the basics, and sticking to them is all it takes.
All of this has caused me to think about a spiritual parallel. The Church is in need of a little bit of maintenance. In fact, we might be in need of some shock therapy just like my pool. You see, the 21st Century Church has allowed itself to become infected with a lot of foreign bodies. In many places the contaminants are growing rapidly and fouling the “living water” that should characterize the lives of those who belong to the Son of God. Like my pool, getting back to the basics of our faith is what is needed.
The Church was born at Pentecost. While there is no way we can go back to the 1st Century, it is possible for us to return to that which the Apostles taught. What they offered in their day was shock therapy for the religiosity of their time. Their faith was a simple faith. All one had to do was believe in the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross, in the grave, and now in glory. Throughout the years many have tried to add to their simple formula. It has infected the Body of Messiah. Once again, it is time for a shockingly simple truth. Let’s begin by telling their simple message once again.
Who knows what God will do with it in our own time?