When I look my congregation of approximately 150 people in a small village just outside of Amsterdam in the eyes on Sunday morning and begin my sermon with: “Dear people”, here’s what I see:
Those who have been traditional Christians all their lives but can’t really explain why
Those who don’t believe Jesus literally rose from the dead (it is idiotic to believe that!)
Those who love the organ and the Genevan Psalms
Those born Roman Catholic, who have never practiced religion and are now looking for God again
Those who don’t believe King David really existed
Those who would love a real swinging Pentecostal service – sans snake handling (that would go too far for the reserved Dutch!)
The woman whose husband left her for multiple homosexual relationships, and with whom she has to share custody of her son
The professor doctor of Assyriology, who can read Sanskrit and multiple other old languages
Those who don’t think it matters a whit whether the Bible is historically accurate or not
Single people having sex, living together, getting married, having babies
Those baptized as babies who have been re-baptized as adults
The 50 year old mentally handicapped lady who loves me
The woman who would have jumped in front of a train years ago if it wasn’t so messy, looking for a respectable way to end her (in her eyes) miserable life
The couple that evangelizes on the streets of Haarlem one afternoon a month
The man who said "I can't make heads or tails out of the atonement."
And there is probably a homosexual or two in the group, I just don’t know about it yet
I didn’t choose this congregation; she chose me.
No, that’s not even right: God put me here.
In another log, sometime, I’ll tell you more about how I cope with that.