I said in a message yesterday in our faith community that many people (especially young people) are apt to "walk away" from an experience in spiritual community for two reason – they don't feel that they are treasured and they constantly feel that they are being PREACHED at and not listen to! In fact, most of the time, people who leave community and shut the door on a "church" experience is primarily because they can't reconsile a LOVING and GRACE-FILLED God with a judgmental and ungracious and unloving people who align themselves with God. The conclusion is that either God is wrong or the people are wrong…and frankly, people are not apt to trash God (there are MANY MANY MANY people who say that they love and follow Jesus who are not part of a local church) but they do leave expressions of gathered community because they have been "trashed" by HIS people. May we listen and heed the words of 1 John…that WE LOVE because He first loved us…that if the LOVE OF GOD doesn't abide in and through our lives, then our relationship with Jesus is a sham. How is God's love and NOT His judgment (which is HIS perrogative given HIS nature and character as God) flowing in and through your life?