Nature and Faith in Images and Words

Just Who Would Be In Jesus Church


A question slipped into my mind,
They often do these days,
Of all the people in our church
Who walk in different ways,
We’ve young and old, thin, fat and tall,
They vary quite a bit,
But generally are all the same,
No matter where they sit,

Respectable and dignified,
Middle class, well spoken too,
We all have cars, and lovely homes,
And rather well to do.
Life for most is comfortable,
With food and drink a-plenty,
We never know of what it’s like
To sleep outside, cold – empty!

We don’t look out of prison
With windows barred and bleak,
Where liberty is taken from us
With a visit once a week.
No urge to steal for drugs or drink
To get us through the day,
No selling of our bodies
Not with strangers do we lay.

So I got to think
if Jesus had a church
Who would He have in it
Which people would He search?
Because as I look at Scripture,
And see the folk He found,
They were not the sort of people
We would like around.

Isolated lepers,
With sores that smelt and wept,
Tax fiddlers, enemy soldiers,
Were the company He kept,
Rough and rugged fishermen,
Women of the night,
These were the sort of people,
We see His heart delight.

So when I ask the question

Who would be in Jesus’ church?
The answer that returns to me
Makes my own heart lurch.
For it would not necessarily be
The people here today,
But the ones the world has
Turned its back on,
Are the ones who stay away.

The reason that they stay away,
Is often plain to see,
They simply don’t feel good enough,
To mix with the likes of me.
There’s a feeling of unworthiness
That can keep them from this place,
Their shame and degradation,
Isolation and disgrace.

Yet Jesus always had the time,
In fact He sought them out,
Never did He turn away
Never did He doubt
That in the schemes of glory
There would be a place
For the dirty, down and out,
He made for them a space.

So as we go to church each week,
And fill the same old seat,
If we see a stranger,
Let’s stand and go to greet
Those people Jesus sends us,
Let’s make them feel at home,
It was always His intention
This should be their home.