I’M IN THE CLUB!… Isaiah 56: 1-8

I’m in the club!  Really?  Which one?  The Men’s Club!  In the town where I pastored, there was a club exclusively for men.  And I mean exclusive!  Men of wealth.  Men of prestige.  Men of position.  The building, which housed our club, was an old-fashioned, 19th-century home, located on the hill heading out of town, a stone’s throw from New York City.  We were exclusive, preclusive and exceptional(I must keep that new Thesaurus out of reach!).

I know exactly what you’re thinking!  How did I get into this club?  Good question.  The answer?   All male pastors in town had a complimentary membership to the Men’s Club.  So, there it is!  Gloat if you must!  I was rubbing shoulders with men I had absolutely nothing in common with.  Hanging out, drinking martinis, ragging about politics, bragging about stock portfolio winners was not my cup of tea. Totally out of my league.

However, there’s another ‘club’ that I’m a member of.  Membership has nothing to do with the requirements of the ‘Men’s club’.  Quite the contrary.  Money won’t help.  Your pedigree, meaningless.  Education is fine, but none required.  Open to all,  male and female.

Of course, I’m talking about being a member of the body of Jesus Christ, the Church Universal.  How do I find out about joining?  Why not turn to the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, chapter 56.  There’s no fine print.  Nothing secret about this society.  Look at verse 4.  I love this:  ‘…who choose the things that please me…’  These are the ‘Club’ members–anyone who loves to please the Lord, who wants to follow His instructions and words of wisdom found only in His Bible.  No myths or fables between its covers.  No ‘containing’ of His Word, leaving some doubt as to its total veracity.  No.  All from the Holy Spirit of God, through His divinely chosen human authors, to bring us the gift of the Bible.  Cover to cover.  Word for word.  Genesis to Revelation.  All of it.  His ‘Club’ members love to please Him.  Our passion is His mission… for our lives.  Christ’s church has members of all types and colors, shapes and sizes.

We’re created in the image of God.   Most important of all,  brothers and sisters in Christ!  Color of skin, irrelevant.  We’re in the same ‘Club’!  The body of Jesus Christ!  What could be better?  Certainly not that old Men’s Club.  Forty years later,  I can’t even find one reference to it on the internet.  For me, only a vague and distant memory.

The ‘Club’ of Christ, His Church?  Now, that’s a different story indeed!  Growing and growing, onward and upward, more diverse and colorful all the time!  That’s the one for me!  You too?  Complimentary membership…from His grace and mercy!

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for welcoming all of us, who believe in you, into the church.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.