Jesus is very down-to-earth in His teaching in the gospels. In Matth. 13:33 He speaks about the kingdom of God, i.e. that which He came to establish among us, and says: ”The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” What Jesus is and stands for, is like a yeast, with the purpose to saturate us and our fellowships until everything is worked through. Something comes from above, influences us and all we meet and the result is a change of culture.
These last days of December 2017, I have been reading a book by author and pastor Anders Olsson. The name of the book is “Welcome home. Building a church for those that have no church”. Anders writes about churches that are ”professional when it comes to arranging program and activities, but find it hard to make disciples and develop relationships”. He writes about the time when he and his wife were about to have their first baby – how the house had to be made more kids-friendly and safe before the arrival of the new family-member. It meant a huge change of culture. for them and their home.
During the last six months our church has gone through a major renovation. It is part of our change of culture as a church. We have renewed our café, the very center of the church, to make it more fresh, welcoming, open and hospitable. But an inner change of culture is also needed among us, in order to make us more competent to meet and welcome new people, see them integrated in the fellowship. ”We love because He first loved us”, John writes in one of his letters (1 John 4:19). The more we are saturated by the love of God, the better we can give it forward. If our inside is empty, we work and function only because we “have to” and must. And that can always be felt and seen.
As the new year 2018 begins I pray for a change of culture in myself and in all of us. I pray that we will be saturated by the love of God, over and over again. I pray that we will become good at being a church for those that do not have a church.