Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Church is like a Box of Donuts

The other day, my wife had bought a box of glazed donuts from the store. Ahhh… Now if there were ever a weakness to tempt me – this would be it. I cannot help but love the fresh hot gooey goodness that comes from a card-board box. Well, there are donuts, and then there’s pizza too. By the time I got to the donuts later that same day, I had a chuckle as I opened the box. It reminded me of that little child-hood song where you clasp your hands together, interlocking your fingers and say, “This is the church. This is the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.” And as I open up my hands, I wiggle all of my fingers showing the “people”.

Yes folks, I got a laugh out of that because as soon as I opened the box, even though some donuts were already missing, in my mind I could see a church full of people in those luscious donuts. Everyone dressed the same, looked the same, all the same size, all in their pews where they should be, nice and neat – the perfect church. Needless to say, that church let out quick, ‘cause all them people disappeared in a hurry.

As I thought about that box of perfect church going donuts over the next few days, I started to realize that maybe that church was… well… too perfect. In fact, when was the last time I’d ever seen a church so perfect. Well, never. As much as I try to dress the part, I often time manage to bring a “dent” or maybe I’m missing part of my icing, of maybe my top half is wrinkled. Truth is, when I look closer at that box of perfect glazed donuts, each one is different. From a distance they all look the same, but upon closer examination every donut has its flaws. Every donut is unique, slightly different shape, size, and weight. The characteristics that make the box of glazed donuts seem like
a real church to me, is the fact they are all in the “box” for the specific purpose of:
  • Serving God, and each other.
  • Encouraging each other.
  • Singing to God, and to each other.
  • Communing with God, and with each other.
  • Praying to God, with each other.
  • Studying with each other and allowing God to fill them with His Spirit.

Upon more consideration, I determined that what would represent the church that I read about in the NT, specifically as found in Acts chapter 2, was a church that was made up of practically, every nation! How different can that be? [ Acts 2:9, Acts 2:10, & Acts 2:11 ] Is the church made up of people who are exactly alike in every way? [ Romans 12:4, Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 12:13, 1 Corinthians 12:14, 1 Corinthians 12:18, 1 Corinthians 12:20, 1 Corinthians 12:26, 1 Corinthians 12:27 ] Or does God call all? [ 1 Timothy 2:4 ] And, who am I to “screen” this or that person to see if they “fit the mold”. How hard is it to try and squeeze a perfect donut into a square shape? I don’t believe God calls us to be Bakers or any other artist responsible for making something into something else. That is God’s job. [ Acts 10:42, Acts 10:43, Romans 2:16, Romans 14:4, 2 Timothy 4:1 ] God calls us to teach, and leave the rest up to God. [ Acts 4:19, Acts 4:20 ]

Please read over these few verses to see the example of the first NT church.

[ Acts 2:1, Acts 2:5, Acts 2:14, Acts 2:37, Acts 2:38, Acts 2:39, Acts 2:41, Acts 2:42, Acts 2:43, Acts 2:44, Acts 2:45, Acts 2:46, Acts 2:47, Acts 11:26, Acts 14:23, Acts 14:27, Romans 16:1, Romans 16:5, Romans 16:23, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 5:27 ]

I'd love to hear your comments about what Church means to you, or if you'd simply like to comment on what flavor or donut you like. :)

Am I Listening To What God Is Saying In His Word?


  1. Paul,

    Great insight and creativity looking at this important issue of what the Church is. I think your donut illustration is right on, that we individually are not perfect, but we are made perfect in Him.

    We are all created unique by God, made for different purposes to achieve His good will.

    Paradoxically, what makes us part of the Church (His body) is not ourselves though, but Jesus. He's the "gooey goodness" that holds us together.

    You are good in referencing the Church as made up of every nation. The man-made distinctions based upon "whatever" simply do not have any value or place in the Body of Jesus Christ.

    The whole concept of unity requires that things that are different must come together.

    The way I read the scriptures, the Church is made up of individuals who believe IN Jesus. Those who put their faith, hope and trust in Him. This is the church. All the other stuff is just made up, but used by the enemy if we're not careful!

    Thanks for the great comments and post Brother.

    P.S. I like chocolate long johns!

  2. Wonderful post and thoughts.
    Your post made me start craving Krispy Creme Donuts. Yummmmmmmmmmm! :-) I hope you have a fantastic day brother.