So we bought a building. I think it was 2011. Now it matters. It matters because it is ours, and we matter because we are God’s. And we are God’s not in a generic sense–because we were created by God like everyone else–but because we are God’s chosen people being built like living stones into a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). It’s pretty grandiose. Being a Christian is pretty grandiose. Many Christians are just grandiose and not very christian. That’s what Christians may be best known for- saying they are something they really aren’t- being concerned with what is on the outside and not really experiencing any transformation on the inside.
Jesus had a couple of things to say about that. “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean… You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.(Matthew 23:26-28)
I know for a fact that the inside of 3800 Marlton Pike is clean–not just because the cleaning team is awesome 🙂 but because our Public Meetings are a place for Jesus’ transformation. They are a place where people encounter Christians who are not whitewashed. We know what dead bones we carry around inside of us and we are free to name them and continue to let Jesus clean us out. We’ve got the no faking thing down even if we hide our true selves from time to time when our fear rises up.
It seems that part and parcel to that sort of honesty is a scrutiny which can be detrimental to our mission. We are working with what’s on the inside. We are sometimes very aware of how far we are falling short and we are okay with that. We’re in process. And focus on that process keeps us from putting very much out there. We aren’t “there” yet so we won’t put ourselves out there either.
But Jesus is there and Jesus is here. Let’s not forget that our house that used to be akin to a Hoarders episode is now a livable space and there are just dirty dishes in the sink and the carpet needs to be vacuumed. Jesus has brought us a long way and we want to let as many people as possible get into this house, so to speak.
This requires some curb appeal. We need to put ourselves out there, be aware of our appearance and how the world receives us. Folks don’t know us or love us before they do, and before they do they will know about us or know what we look like. So trying to make ourselves look a little better on Marlton Pike this week, I got us a new sign. It’s a small way to put ourselves out there, but I think a great improvement to what was there. What other improvements to our curb appeal could we do? how could we make ourselves known and make room for the next person at 3800 Marlton Pike?
A brainstorm (that could be continued by you in the comments)
- Paint a mural along the whole front of the buiiding just below the roof line
- Mow the lawn regularly
- Park on the street at the Public Meeting so there’s room in the parking lot for guests
- Get a directional sign on 130