During the past weeks, I have chronicled the details of my first—and by the grace of God, LAST—visit to IKEA. The Swedish home good stores left an indelible mark upon my psyche.
However, preachers notoriously use all of life’s experience as fodder for sermons. So I have written a series of blogs comparing and contrasting IKEA and the Large Church.
IKEA’s first floor contains acres of warehouse space called the Self-Serve Furniture Area. Swedish elves magically pack furniture into “flat-pack” boxes. In-house chiropractors treat foolish consumers who attempt to lift any container alone.
Signs proclaim the Scandinavian furniture is Ready to Assemble. This prevarication falls under the heading of Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics. The assembly of IKEA furniture has reduced Georgia Tech engineers and MIT post-grads to frustrated tears.
First, there are no words to describe IKEA’s instructions. Literally—there are no words. Instead, the company uses pictograms to depict the step-by-step-by-step-by-step-by-step directions. For parents who have screamed profanities while assembling LEGO toys with their children, it’s like that—only worse.
IKEA gnomes have developed proprietary hardware for furniture reconstruction. Doodads, thingamabobs, gizmos, and doohickeys join infinite pieces in incomprehensible ways. The end result either resembles the picture on the box or an ACE Hardware Store that threw up on the floor.
The Large Church also comes from God Read to Assemble. With Christ Jesus as the cornerstone, the Spirit builds us block by block and life by life into a holy temple.
At times, the assembly process can be messy and frustrating. Some parts must be deconstructed and then reconstructed. Over time, however, the Lord works in, through, and despite us to create something greater than ourselves.
The Church is both gift and goal. We ARE the body of Christ . . . and we are BECOMING the body of Christ.
Perhaps the church sign out front should read: Assembly Required.