>> January 21, 2016
Years ago, I used to drive by a church sign that always had the same phrase on it: COME AS YOU ARE. I suppose it may have been taken from the mid 90’s praise chorus Come Just As You Are, but today I pondered the phrase. I even wondered if they still had the same phrase on their reader board since the mid 90’s.
Sunday, during the preservice prayer time, the Lord gave me a word to share prior to leading worship. I quickly jotted it down and read it to our congregation in obedience. Today, I used what the Lord whispered to me and expanded on it to write a short poem.
(Disclaimer: I do not consider myself to be a "poet".)
Come just as you are
Accepted with all your scars
Come hungry and hurting
Leave satisfied and whole
Come lost and longing
Leave with peace in your soul
Come angry and confused
Leave with all tensions diffused
Come weak and weary
Leave bolstered and cheery
Come as a seeker of things above
Leave with a heart filled with hope and love
Come; bring your lifestyle of despair
Spend time on your knees in warfare
Come and meet with Jesus
For He is the One who can free us
Come just as you are, indeed
But leave as a new creation, set free
You see, Jesus loves you just as you are. This is true. But we need to understand that we can’t truly live for Jesus and stay in that “just as you are” condition. He loves us enough to help us grow beyond our “just as you are” mindset.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: Old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Almost three decades have passed since I first saw this phrase on that church reader board and it is still there today. I hope and pray that over the years as people enter through their church doors just as they are that they have left a little bit different every week.
And I pray that for our church as well.