Come as you are: But don’t sit in my seat.

A feeling of disbelief washes over you at first as you hear the words, “You’re sitting in my seat.” Looking at the lady who reeks of tweed and leather armchairs that is staring at you from behind her thick-rimmed spectacles, lets you know that her practical, laced up, brown leather shoes are not budging another inch until you have moved your little booty to another seat.

I may have used some poetic license in that story, but the truth is I have had conversations with believers who would be mortified if someone else sat in “their seat” at church. The ‘come as you are’ mantra that is spread around most churches seems to vanish into thin air as the person who’s ‘seat’ you’ve so recklessly occupied, uses the same intimidation tactics as the nine-foot giant called Goliath found in 1 Samuel:17.

And while you’re searching for the five, smooth stones and slingshot in your handbag, ready to knock that Goliath to the ground, you start to believe the lie that you really can’t just “come as you are.” You feel that you must jump through those invisible hoops that are held up as high as their standards before you can even think about ‘coming as you are.’ And so, the shame sets in as you creep away to find another seat. A seat that is for people who don’t belong.

I know people who claim to love Jesus with all their hearts but confess to me that they get really ticked off because someone (hold the phone) sits in their regular spot along the pew. Hello, could the real Christian please stand up? (Oh, you’re already standing up because you’ve just moved seats 🙂 

COME AS YOU ARE

Enter Jesus. He was labelled, the friend of sinners, ‘…And the people said, “This man is a glutton! He’s a drunk! And He hangs around with tax collectors and sinners, to boot.” Matthew 12:19. He was considered to have lost His mind by His own family and helped the unclean people by touching and healing them, ‘Lord, if You wish to, You can heal me of my disease. Jesus reaches out His hand and touches the man, something no one would normally do for fear of being infected or of becoming ritually unclean’ Luke 5:12-13. The more we worry and fuss about who sits in what seat, the more Jesus is squeezed out. “Come as you are” is a statement that needs to be lived out. A lifestyle that is shown to others in and out of the church.

I really don’t care what seat you sit in; you are always welcome here to “come as you are.” Because who am I to judge you? The purpose of this seat, this space is to reach out my hand, not to point any fingers. You won’t find any judgmental, tweed-wearing lady on this website. Just a broken, rescued person who wants to let you know that she will always save a seat for you, okay?  

Wendy xo

Author

Wendy Parker

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