Right. So you finally find the perfect church.
The pastor, the preaching, the music, the fellowship… everything. It’s perfect.
And it’s a good thing because after all these years, you were beginning to think it didn’t exist.
But it does of course. You have proof. You’ve just joined it.
Thus you dwell in heavenly oblivion as you relish the Utopian splendour of a truly perfect church.
Then one day it happens.
Like a bolt of lightning.
Out of nowhere.
The pastor is wrong! WRONG! Like really, really wrong!
Then, as if it was staged, you find out that the deacon thinks the cleaners are lazy, the pianist gets annoyed at the ukulele player, the church’s snow white reputation was marred by a split in the ancient past, and worst of all, Miss Sandra told someone that you sing too loud!!!
You slowly sit down as the miserable reality begins to sink in… “my church is made up of… of… of… humans!”
What makes it work once the adrenaline wears off? What happens when the honeymoon’s over? What oils the machine when you realise there are some people in your church that you just don’t get along with?
We could call it post-honeymoon grace.
It’s when you realise that you disagree with your pastor on some significant non-fundamentals and decide to agree to disagree and love him anyway.
It’s when you decide to look after Miss Sandra’s pet elephant while she’s away even though she thinks you sing too loud.
It’s when you reach out to what’s-his-face even though his views on the eschatological implications of the kingdom are dead wrong.
Post-honeymoon grace is when you realise that your pastor might be right, you might sing a little too loudly, and perhaps there’s a little room for difference on those eschatological implications… just a little.
The best part of body life is when you’ve settled in for the long haul. It’s when you’ve gotten past the honeymoon and are really part of the family… foibles and all. It’s when you know the others and the others know you… and you still show grace to each other. Not a blind grace that can’t see the other’s faults, but a grace demonstrated in spite of the faults… like the grace God shows to us.
It’s post-honeymoon grace.