Relationship Pain. Ever been excommunicated? I mean, kicked out of a church kind of excommunicated? Sounds like we are talking about the Middle Ages, doesn’t it? Does that really happen anymore? I mean, there are churches for every species of thought under heaven. One church I visited had a blessing Sunday for pets. Choose your sexual preference, a god off the menu, liturgical stripe you prefer, and you can find a church that fits. Why would anyone get excommunicated when one can just walk down the street to open arms of people equally indignant at the idea, to begin with?
It doesn’t take a whole lot of self-reflection to realize we excommunicate people from our lives all the time. The word comes from the Latin “excommunicare,” which means to put outside of the community. We can put it more simply by staying in English and just looking at ex and communication. I bet you have a bunch of people in your life who would fit into that category: “I am not going to communicate with you anymore.” You have done something so offensive, so repulsive, so defiling to my standards, I no longer will have you in my life.
This gets particularly difficult when it happens in the most intimate relationships, particularly the family.
When I was a young pastor, already starting my second church, and had a second child on the way, I had a very unique friend. In his beginning years of fatherhood, he happened to be a nuclear power engineer and personified what any pastor would like to have in the church. He was the greeter from heaven, making everyone who dared walk through the doors feel special, and welcomed. Come back again, and he would remember your name, ask about your week and point you to the coffee before the service.
When the lights went off at church, we would find our way to his small starter home, where the ping pong table was my immediate destination. Laughter began, and extended volleys were interspersed with deep theological questions and a passion for unbelievers throughout the world. In so many ways, everything just seemed perfect. Let’s see…
Welcome, Brian Holian to Church Hurts And.
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