This past week another large church has been shocked and saddened by the admitted moral failure of their pastor. Scandal in the church is not at all a new experience. From the days of David with Bathsheba till today, men (and women) in positions of great influence have failed. Is this a sign that all they stood for was false or that the entire idea of God’s church is only a pipe dream? Rather than using this as a moment to vent anger and bitterness, the Bible points out that failure is an opportunity for restoration:
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself Galatians 6:1
Staying through the storms struggling together to find God’s restoring power may be our single deepest experience of the love of God in action. God has called us together as his community (The people of God) As a community, when someone stumbles we need to rally around in prayer, encouragement and grace. Other people’s sin seems so much worse than our own especially when printed in the newspaper. But if the church is truly a hospital for sinners, rather than a rest home for saints, then when there has been a hurt, we need to rush to the emergency room of prayer. We may just discover there that the great Physician is always on duty and He stands ready to restore.