We Christians often make the statement that the church is a hospital for sinners. We mean that to be a warm and inviting description for any of you who do not know Jesus. It is our attempt to say that we are not perfect, but forgiven. It is an effort to say that messy lives are welcome in our midst. It is our confession that we often have messy lives too. It is a plea for you to know that we are a place of hope for the hopeless, a community for the lonely, a place of healing for the broken, a place of joy for the heartsick, a people of peace in a world at war, and a church of purpose for the life without meaning.

But we are not just a hospital, we are also a wellness center. If we have given the impression that church is simply a place where everyone is broken, wounded, or hurting … then we have misled you. We are a place where people like this can come. In fact, many of us were like that when we first showed up. But we do not stay like that. Church is where healing happens. It is where broken lives are restored. It is where joy, peace, purpose, and hope can be found.

Yes, church is a place where critical care for spiritually wounded people takes place. And sometimes those of us in church find ourselves in need of emergency spiritual care. We still have struggles with living out our faith and we still battle with Satan. But most of us are in the wellness center, not the hospital. We are learning together how to live as healthy followers of Jesus. We are learning how to extend care to each other and to those who wish to join our community.

So in one of our churches, you will see people who are bleeding from the wounds inflicted by a hard world of sin and trouble. They are receiving emergency care. You will see people with bandages and wounds that are still healing. They are receiving ongoing care. But what you will see more than anything else is those of us with scars. We are healed. We are healthy. The scars are our reminder of the God who heals. It reminds us of how God saves. And they remind the wounded that they too will be healed. Just like we have been.

Our scars remind us of God's healing in our lives.
If you are looking for spiritual healing, I would enjoy visiting with you. Write me at steve@hopeforlife.org or join the blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org.

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