I have a source inside Disney World who shared with me a disturbing incident. It seems that she was leaving the Disney “underground” to go up to work when she saw a guy getting into a Minnie Mouse costume. With a mere turn of the head she then witnessed a woman pulling on a Mickey Mouse costume.
Let’s just say that the Magic Kingdom has lost some of it’s magic since she’s been an employee.
I was talking with a pastor friend of mine recently who has been through a horrible ordeal in her church. It involved people being sneaky and mean and spiteful. She says she could sense the presence of evil. She also says that over half of the people in the church were completely clueless that anything was going on.
So I told my pastor friend about my Disney World source. It’s just a reality of life. When you see the inner-workings of any institution, some of the magic is gone. In fact, I consider it part of my ministry to look at the sometimes-ugly insides of the church without flinching; to hear people’s petty complaints about each other; to know the large gap between what was supposed to happen and what actually did happen; to be aware of the evil that is present even within the body of Christ.
Yes, the magic of the church is gone for me. (As a pastors’ kid, it’s been gone for quite awhile.) If the church were magic, none of the problems of the world would touch it.
But here’s the difference between Disney World and the Church–one difference anyway: the magic is all Disney World has to offer.
The Church, however, has something better than magic, deeper than magic. The Church does not keep the “real world” out, but allows the world to enter and to be transformed. The woman who was complaining about Fred is the first to take him a casserole when he gets home from the hospital. What actually happens turns out to be better than what was supposed to happen. The evil that threatens the church is overcome by the powerful love of Christ.
This is not magic. It is miracle. And I consider it one of the deep privileges of my life to witness the miracle–morning by morning.