Here is a picture of a church building. No confusion here, it has a steeple and a cross at the top, so it must be a church right?. Well…, actually that brings me to the question I want to ask. Is this building the church, or is this just a building where the church meets? In Romans 16:5, Paul says “Greet the church in their house”, he is talking about the home of Prisca and Auilla, “fellow workers in Christ Jesus”. Here and in other references, we see that the church is not the building, the church is the people that meet in the building and are called out for a special purpose. Ok, so we got that out of the way, the church is people (no Soyelent Green jokes). Ok, second question? Is the church building a place where I go to find other perfect people like myself? I suspect you might be able to see through my trick question. Yes, it is true, churches are not made up of perfect people. As much as we would like to think so, people make mistakes, either intentionally or unintentionally. We just aren’t perfect. Now I am NOT saying Christians aren’t perfect (righteous) in Christ, we are! What I am saying is that we (you and me) don’t always live out of our righteousness. You see, being perfect requires that I live my life by letting Christ live His life though me, and at times I turn away and live it out of myself. That is when imperfect things happen. Ok, enough theology for the moment. What I am trying to get at is simply that we shouldn’t go to a church (building) and expect everyone to be perfect, cause they won’t be. So, does that mean we shouldn’t join a church at all, after all churches are full of people acting imperfectly. Well, you could go to church on TV instead, after all there are lots of preachers that will be happy to share their sermons with you, but the problem is that being part of a church is about more than just listening to a good sermon. Being part of a church is about people sharing their lives with each other and building relationships, so you can share your experiences and burdens, and help them by sharing their burdens. Of course we each (including you) have spiritual gifts that God has given us that are intended to be used to help other people. It is pretty hard to help others when you don’t know them. Ok, I guess I have rambled on enough, but I do have one more thing to say about all this. If you are not currently part of a church body, then you might want to talk to God about that, and by all means don’t take my word it, let God pull you in the direction He desires. I know He might pull you kicking and screaming, but one thing I can promise, is that in the end you will thank Him because for you and me, He only desires good. Can I get an AMEN?
After all that rain subsided, I was able to go to bike night at Sam’s Town Point this evening. We had a small group, but I got to spend time talking individually to several people which is often difficult if there are too many people attending. If you are wondering about the Wendy’s pictured, that is where I stopped on the way home for dinner.