Some Christians are enough to cure anyone of Christianity.
Perhaps we can compare Christianity to a delicious piece of fried chicken. Imagine that you are just sinking your teeth deep into the savory meat and crispy breading, when suddenly you see something terrible. The person just across from you at the table is biting into a similarly savory drumstick, but their teeth are yellow and their breath is horrible. They slobber saliva all over the drumstick, licking it and taking wild bites like a crazed beast. And, let me point out, most terribly, they chew with their mouth wide open, allowing you to see every glob of food as it is mashed in their mouth. Of course afterwards they throw up all over the table.
Now, let me ask you: Do YOU want to go on eating that piece of savory chicken? Or do you perhaps set it down politely and go screaming out of the restaurant? It is a hard job indeed to go on focusing on that chicken leg and slowly munching it while all this craziness is going on around you. It takes a sort of determination that some would call crazy. But that is basically the situation in many churches. We have to go on munching the delicious Bible and Gospel while all around us people are puking their guts out on the pews and making horrible slobbering noises. It is a challenge, let me tell you.
And as if that weren't hard enough, we're called to clean up after them and be patient with them, and even, to love them. It's enough to make anyone who wasn't crazy go screaming from the room.
The one saving grace in all of this is Christ Himself. He enters the sanctuary quietly through the back door and bandages arms scratched bloody by fingernails, then cleans up puke with his shirt. He teases someone chewing with their mouth open and rebukes another firmly who is trying to steal someone else's drumstick. He grow furious and whips a few right out of the church with fierce lashes. Do you see him?
He is glimpsed most easily in a few of those Saints, those glorious ones who for a few minutes are getting it Right, who are riding the bicycle gracefully without wobbling. Look at those beautiful ones, eyes bright even in tears, hearts humble, hands reached out to those around them. They are the fingertips of Jesus. What type of Christian are you?
Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.