One of the recurring dramas on home remodeling TV shows begins when the owner wants to freshen up a room—maybe make it look new again. She decides to choose a new color and paint the room. It’s not a huge room, so it should take about a day. She thinks for a while about the right color and considers several options. She asks the opinion of her friends, and does a little online research.
After choosing the color and buying the paint and rollers and other supplies, she begins to wipe off the walls, and sands or scrapes some rough areas. You know what happens next. While scraping in a corner, she discovers a place where the wallboard is soft—she can just about put her finger through it. Then she sands around the spot and uncovers water stains. She decides she needs to see what’s going on behind the wall, so she pokes through a few times with a screwdriver and looks through with a flashlight. She can’t see much, except that it is clearly wet.
She is frustrated and worried, and thinks of a friend whose wife is a busy contractor. Maybe one of them can help. So they come over that evening, and her contractor friend bangs a bigger hole, revealing rotting wood and something that looks like mildew or mold. It seems to be behind a long section of wall, and around the corner.
The contractor continues to investigate and she finds that a water pipe is rusted through and likely has been leaking for quite some time. She recommends a plumber, a mold remover, a carpenter, and a drywall installer who can repair the damage. As things turn out, the homeowner winds up with brand-new plumbing throughout her house, two new walls, and a new floor.
And it all started with a desire to freshen things up—to make the room look better.
John Wesley just wanted to invigorate the Church of England by bringing its support and its message to those who most needed it. He didn’t want to start a new church, but over time that’s what happened. And here we are, the United Methodist Church.
Martin Luther wanted to “freshen up” the church by reaffirming the principles upon which it was founded. He was frustrated that those who most needed it were excluded. He didn’t want to break away, but over time that’s what happened. And here we are, the Protestant Church.
Paul wanted to remove the layers of legalism that were obscuring the heart of the Jewish tradition. Like Jesus, he fervently wanted to share its message and support with the Gentiles. Neither of them wanted to start the Church. But here we are, the Christian Church.
In this Easter season when we think of refreshing and renewing our lives, there may be much more and much better in store for us than we realize!
See you in church!