for zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
I ask myself, and I asked my church, "Are we so consumed with zeal for God's presence and his kingdom -- for 'God's house' -- that we are willing to take the hits meant for God himself?" Are we willing to so identify with the Christ who identified with us that we will take up his cross, the object of scorn and shame and derision?
I framed my exposition around "church resolutions," and one of them was this: We Resolve to Look Foolish.
A resolute church centered on the gospel embraces the loss of its reputation for the gain of God's glory. It is willing to look stupid, irrational, impractical, silly . . . for the right reasons. It will be dragged into the street, absorbing the insults of those who insult God, in efforts to turn the world upside down. It will spend as much or more time and money on others as it does itself, it will send its people into the farthest reaches of the world to die, it will eat and drink with sinners, it will welcome the broken and weary, it will favor the meek and lowly, it will cherish the powerless, it will serve and suffer and savor the sweetness of the good news.
A gospel-driven church resolves to look foolish to those to whom the cross is foolishness. Because we know it is the power to save.