Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Church Together

I am the church.
You are the church.
We are the church together. 
All who follow Jesus, all around the world, 
yes, we’re the church together.
  The church is not a building, 
the church is not a steeple, 
the church is not a resting place, 
the church is a people.
I grew up singing this song in Sunday School.  Lately, it's been running through my mind like background music in a movie.  I wonder if it's true.  I mean, what is the church we know?  We ask:  "Where do you go to church?"  "What time is church?"  "Do you have contemporary or traditional music at your church?"   "Are you going to church this Sunday?"  These common questions all point to a place.  A building.  A steeple.  A resting place.  NOT a people.  How have we gotten to this point?  This is not the meaning of the word in the Bible.  The word that is translated as "church" actually means "assembly."  It refers to a group guessed it...PEOPLE!  I've heard so many reasons that people don't "go to church."  It's too early.  Or late.  The music's too loud.  Or soft.  Or fast.  Or slow.  It is full of hypocrites.  Or rich people.  Or republicans.  Or democrats.  Or poor people.  Or children.  Or old people.  Not people like us.  I went, but no one talked to me.  I went, but everyone talked to me.  I went, but people hugged me.  I went, but everyone was too stiff.  I don't believe that stuff.  I don't think you can really believe in just one religion.  Those people think they're the only ones who know God.  The Bible can't really be taken literally.  My kid plays sports on Sunday.  That's the only time I can...go grocery shopping...clean the in the garden...mow the lawn...sleep the paper...see my kids.  You get the idea.

The problem with all this, is:  The church is a people!  It is an assembly!  It is the Bride of Christ, and at the same time the Body of Christ!  It is everywhere, all the time, a cohesive, working, living organism.  It is described as a bride, a body.  Not a building.  Not a business.  Not a time.  Not a program.  It's not preaching, teaching, singing, and praying.  It is a people.  The people may meet in a building, at a time.  Hopefully they do not think it is a business.  They might sing.  They might pray.  They might teach or preach or listen to a teacher or a preacher.  They might share a meal.  They might share a burden.  They might share happiness or sadness or anger or relief.  Sickness or triumph or loss.  Pain or elation.  They might see heaven.  They might not.  Hopefully they will reach.  Reach out, reach in, reach over, reach up.  And, if they're lucky, the body will leave the place and the time and proceed through life.  Together.  One body.  One people.  All who follow Jesus, all around the world.  Together.  Come, Lord Jesus!

1 comment:

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