Dear You: a letter to an ideal reader

Dear You – my ideal reader:

If you’ve been digging through my blog a bit, you’ll have learnt that I’m taking a Blogging101 course through WordPress. An assignment this week was to write a post for my dream reader. I took a few extra days to complete the assignment because I was deeply touched by this prompt.

I started blogging somewhat regularly about a year ago. The biggest driving force was to connect with people who had been forgotten by the Church, whether for demographic reasons (congregations don’t engage young folks well) or for judgmental reasons (particularly LGBT folks). I hoped to use this blog as a beacon – a light for those hurt by the ‘system’ – a living example of how faith can work in daily life, both within and without the Church.

Chances are, I’m much more like you than you know. I have doubts about where God is active in the world. I struggle with how to succeed in a society that expects me to fail. I wonder how to be a Christian in a post-Christian world. I try to live my life as Jesus did – not by walking on water and such, but by proclaiming the reign of God to addicts, prostitutes, criminals and tax collectors. I don’t listen to much Christian rock these days, but there’s a lyric that pops into my head regularly:

’cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
the blood and dirt on his feet might stain the carpet.
“My Jesus” by Todd Agnew

The only difference between me and you? I’m an approved candidate for ordination. I’m a rebel that believes the Church has wronged too many people, and I refuse to watch it continue. I’m a reformer who seeks to hold the Church accountable for all its errors, yet I lift up the great things it can do. I’m a believer who tries to instill belief in others. I’m a dreamer who dreams for a reconciled world.

If you think God might be real, good (she is). I’m sorry you’ve been hurt or ignored by the Church. On this blog, I hope you find a few little reminders that God is working in and through your life. And above all, I hope I can shine the slightest bit of light into your life to remind you that you are loved.

Peace be with you,
Mark


A note about terminology: generally, when used with a capital C, the term “Church” refers to the organized assembly of believers from the first Easter morning to today, not one denomination in particular.

6 thoughts on “Dear You: a letter to an ideal reader

  1. Mark, I’m a retired staff pastor, but not retired from proclaiming the Good News. I with you on most of what you are saying although I really believe the Church is the Hope for the world. Since that is where Jesus is proclaimed freely. Good post, enjoyed your style. Rich

    • Hi Rich. I agree that the Church is the hope for the world – as long as that hope is based in reconciliation and love (rather than judgement)! Thanks for your comments!

      -mdj

  2. Hey Mark… My son had decided to be a pastor in his early 20’s. Until he was an associate pastor at our church for six months. He got so sick of the politics and just ended up asking the question, “But where’s Jesus?” I, myself, am going through a bit of the same questioning you are (though I’m 63). Personally I think if we DON’T struggle with our faith at times we never really make it our own. I’m going to suggest your blog to my son. Glad I stumbled on you.

    • Thanks so much for your comments @calensariel. It is in those dark or unclear moments that we find God the most at work. If only others could see Christ in the world as we do!

      -mdj

  3. I am glad I came across your blog because of a comment you posted in Blogging 101. I am a woman of deep faith, but one of my major issues with so many Christians is the tendency (or the need) to pass judgment on other people. I believe it is not for us to judge others and it pains me when the emphasis is on judging rather than on supporting and praying and loving.

    • Hi Helen. I’m glad you found me! I agree with all your statements; for too long the Church has been an institution of judgment and hatred, rather than acceptance and love. But there are a lot of people – like you and me – who still try to share that love with the world. Thanks for your work in sharing the good news with the world!

      -mdj

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