Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Love My Church - part 2

What exactly is the Church anyway? Is it a building where people go to hang out on Sunday morning? Is it a group of people who care for each other and try to help those in need? Is it a place where you can get a quick nap in during the sermon?

It is all and none of these things at the same time. The physical church building you walk into, whether it is a cathedral or a portable building, is just a building. Yes, it is a place that was built in the hope that we would meet God there, but God isn't just in our self-titled churches. God is present throughout his creation. Our job as His "Church" is to meet Him and engage with Him.

When we gather together for worship (no matter where or when) God is present in our midst but we have to choose to engage. We have to pray that God would open us to His message for us. We have to do more than make our to-do list in our head during the sermon. You might make excuses by saying the sermon doesn't speak to your situation or the preacher is boring, but it is God who is using that sermon and preacher to speak to His people. This is not something to blow off - there is something that God wants to tell us in every worship service we attend and we should be attentive to that belief.

The Church is also the 'body of Christ'. We are here on earth to do God's work for Him. The local church we belong to gives us the strength and energy to do that. The fellowship of believers renews our hope and strengthens our call to help those in need. From the energy we gain in worship and study with other believers, we are then sent forth as the "Church" to be God's hands and feet in his world.

Again this requires engagement. Being a member of a church isn't something you just add to your resume and then walk away. Being a member of a Christian church means you belong to something that is bigger than yourself and that you are led by the God who created you and everything else in the cosmos. Being a Christian means that you engage in the word (Scripture) and use that knowledge to engage the world.

Our churches are places where we go for clarity and wisdom, to be strengthened in our faith, and to hear and follow the call God places up on our private and public lives.

The church building is an important symbol, but the people who gather within it make it live and give it relevance.



Anonymous September 21, 2011 at 9:53 AM  

These are great reminders - thank you ! My takeaways - be engaged with God (not a spectator) and be engaged with my church.