Many congregations have gotten in the habit if putting clever little saying on their road signs. One that caught my eye many years ago was one that had the letters "CHCH" posted on one side of the sign with the question, "what’s missing?" On the other side of the sign was answer, "U-R." This funny little sign made me laugh, but it also made me wonder if these sorts of things work. I can’t imagine someone driving by that sign and thinking that they need to go to that chURch to help make it complete. Maybe it’s not any one sign that does the trick; it’s the accumulated effect of a different clever saying each week. I don’t know.
Here is a poem called, "The Missing Piece" by Shel Silverstein:
The missing piece sat alone
waiting for someone
to come along
and take it somewhere....
When doing a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle it is incomplete until that last piece is put in place. And if that last piece is missing the puzzle remains unsolved, incomplete.
Perhaps, if we continue to limit our thinking about the church to buildings and budgets the puzzle will remain incomplete. Bishop Sue recently remarked (and she was quoting another), "don’t say you are going to church, you can’t go to church because you are the church." Or should I say U-R the church. U-R never missing from the church, at home, at work, around the water cooler you are always the church.
Our goal is not just to put "bums on the pews" but to help one another come to a fuller understanding of the commitment required of every professing Christian, which is to be the church at all times. U-R the church, U-R never missing.