Years ago, I heard the late Fred Smith ask a church group: If you did something bad, really scandalous, and it made the headlines Saturday – would you show up at church Sunday?

If you answered No, and I’m guessing most of us would, what does that say about our view of the Church? Who, and what exactly, do we think we are?

Someone described the Church as a place where they make bad people good, and good people miserable. Well … I may be biased, but I don’t think so. (I get the point, though.)

Joshua 20:1-9 gives another, different description of something I think the Church could learn from: God’s Old Covenant people and their cities of refuge.

What’s your scandal? Chemical addiction? An abortion? An affair? Sexual abuse? You’ve been abused, or an abuser? Pornography?

We were guilty of our sins, living in exile, until he died and opened up the way for us … for sinners … to go home. Until then, he’s given us a place in an earthly city of refuge.

It’s called the Church: A place for sinners; for repentance; for restoration. If you ever find a SAFE place like that, you have found your home. Until you do,

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