They or We

During a church dinner we discovered that our table did not have any ketchup. Someone familiar with the church said that there was some in the kitchen and he would go and get it. When he returned, he opened the bottle and looked down at it. He smelled it, wrinkled his nose and remarked that the ketchup looked and smelled as old as the church (the church was dedicated in 1835 A.D.).

“Oh my,” said someone at my table. “Why haven’t they thrown that away?”

The man sitting next to me leaned over and whispered “That’s the way it is in the church; Things belong to everyone, and yet they belong to no one.”

CONSIDER how the church is often a “they”: They should fix that! They should do something about this! Why haven’t they thrown that away? That ketchup bottle sat for a long time in the refrigerator, being pushed to and fro on its shelf, but no one would take it upon themselves to throw it away even though it was obviously no longer good. Why? Well, because everyone thought that they would do it. While everyone is thinking that they would do it, nothing gets done or thrown away. Things get done only when the church realizes that it is not a they, but that it is a we!

The man holding the bottle of rancid ketchup said to those of us at the table, “Gee, what should I do with it?”

Someone at the other end of the table replied, “Oh, don’t bother with it, just set it down and they will throw it away.”

“For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

Wendell Mettey
Revised 4/9/2013

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