Ah, what a beautiful sunset! Here is an artist idea of what a sunset might look like from Pluto, which "used to be" the most distant planet in the solar system, until it was demoted to "dwarf" planet status when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto didn't meet its definition of a planet.
Because of this "demotion," a new word was coined and chosen as 2006's Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society at its annual meeting this January. The word: PLUTOED!.
To "pluto" is "to demote or devalue someone or something," sort of like what happened to Pluto....sort of like what happens to a lot of things, like the church. Some people, even people who "go to" church (vs. "being" the church), don't understand what's so important about this group of people, called "the church."
What I have witnessed in some folks' lives is that they are like Pluto with regards to the church, orbiting somewhere far, far away, seeing the church like a resident of Pluto would see the sun. They notice it, maybe as a bright spot against the dark backdrop of the world, but that's about all...they receive no warmth, see no excitement, and they don't buy into the excitement others are showing.
Okay, so sometimes a church is so messed up, it could be labeled "toxic." Sometimes, however, the problem is not so much the church as it is the view! Get far enough away from anything, and it becomes tiny, or maybe even invisible without a huge telescope! So those orbiting "out there," are going around and around in a dark orbit with no joy, no light, and little purpose.
Sure these people, be they sporadic attenders, or lost people who wouldn't even know where to find a church door, much less "darken" it, need to come in for a closer view of what the church is. It is not, however, only their responsibility, it's the responsibility of those of us who are warm and cozy in the womb of church involvement, to go into the outer dark edges of life to love people, to reflect the light of the sun so far away, so that those spiritual Plutonians might have a reason to leave their far, far away orbits to consider the possibility of a brighter, warmer, more joyous "son-centered life!"Ephesians 2: 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.