Good Medicine

Good Medicine

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

As I have walked with Jesus over the past 20 years, and been in pastoral ministry of one type or another for just as long, I have walked into many, many church buildings. Buildings of different sizes and colors and shapes. Buildings belonging to many different denominations. Buildings all dedicated to the worship of God and the building up of the Church.

I have walked into tiny church buildings that could barely hold 50 people and felt the air crackle with energy and excitement and the presence of the divine. And I have walked into church buildings that are the size of small cities and left feeling as though the Spirit of God within me had been drained a bit somehow.

Buildings, those used for church purposes and otherwise, can have an energy or a spirit about them. No matter how big or small, how humble or ornate, each building’s spirit comes not from the building itself but from the people who spend time there. In a very real way, we create the feeling, or the spirit, of our church buildings.

Think for a minute about how you feel when you walk through the doors. Does it cheer your heart? Do you feel better by being here? Or does it drain you? Does it dry you up inside? And even more importantly, how do you think it makes people feel who are walking through these doors for the first time?

Do they feel cheered and welcomed and comfortable? Or do they feel unwelcome and uneasy? We, those who spend time in these walls, are the ones who create that impression, that feeling. And that impression, more than anything, will determine whether that person has entered and exited for the first and last time or if they stay and find their home with us.

Put yourself in the place of a new person walking in here to worship this morning. Were you greeted by someone other than the pastor? Did someone hand you a bulletin and invite you to sit with them? Did you feel like this place was full of the spirit of Christ, or like the people present were more concerned about other things?

These are not easy questions, but they are necessary ones. As a church, we want to be a place of “good medicine,” a place where people can find comfort and shelter from a tumultuous world. We don’t want to be a place where weary souls are further dried up and shriveled. God offers the healing and the strength, but WE set the tone. WE create the spirit of this place. Let us make it with cheerful hearts and grateful spirits.

Looking for good medicine,

Pastor Mike

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