I see a Church … that is united and powerful.
During this season of lockdown we have more time to re-evaluate our faith and our practices as a follower of Jesus.
I have been thinking of the desires of Jesus in his prayer, hours before his death.
John 17 v 6-26
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. V22-23
Jesus prayed it because he wanted it. He still does.
I see a Church … that is united and powerful.
All the connectivity that has gone on in lockdown will prove dividends later. Those who have remained self-centred throughout this crisis will look very odd indeed afterwards.
The self-centred grumbler live their lives as if they are the most important person and everyone should centre their life on them. I’m tired of such a person. But during a crisis, persecution, a pandemic when a nation’s heart has been wounded with grief the self-centred grumbler loses their friends. Those who grumble and complain that their life is difficult because of the impact of lockdown will not be heard by those who have lost their loved ones through it. I’m not speaking about the person in the street but in the pew. How can the Church come out of this time with their eyes only on themselves? It will be very difficult, okay not impossible, but the Church is going to have to work hard to become like it used to be. I think past decline of the church has because it has scored too many own goals. I see this unity spilling over into pour neighbourhoods.
A church that is united is a church where community is important, where people matter. It is not just the community of those who attend church. But those who are yet to do so.
- Inviting the neighbour for coffee will become as important as inviting them to church.
- “Where brothers live together in unity there the Lord commands a blessing” Psalm 133, will become a verse important not just for the church but for the workplace or neighbourhood or wherever.
- We will embrace the ‘incarnation’ as never before. We live in a world that is closer together than it has ever been and yet driven apart at the core. The incarnational God left his safety, his glory and got caught up with our mess and failings and history. He did it because He cared.
Togetherness means we will leave our comfort zones, our glory and get burdened and involved with the problems of the world. Their problem becomes our problem.
You are called by God for people. Its others before you. It is putting people ahead of you. Serving others, reaching others, others all the time, every time. It is never about us. Never, never entertain the thought, ‘Well what about me? What about what I want? How I feel?’ for they are destructive thoughts.
I believe in the Church. The Church bears all the hallmarks of God. The Church has His Word, His provision and we are the chosen appointed people of God.
We are the presence of God, the Holy Spirit is manifested through us, the Church.
I don’t believe in the church that has political and power controlling disputes. But I do believe in the church that has Christ as the head over all things.
I don’t believe in the church that has masochist tendencies, beating itself up. But I do believe in the church that is the body of Christ.
I don’t believe in the church that is full of pride, greed and selfishness. But I do believe in the church that is the fullness of Christ.
I don’t believe in the church that plots its own course regardless of anyone else. But I do believe in the church that is part of God’s eternal purpose.
I don’t believe in the church that grabs for its gold, polishes its silver and self-congratulates its own achievements. But I do believe in the church where the glory of God can be found.
I don’t believe in the church that will not die to self and submit to one another. But I do believe in the church that is loved by Christ who willingly gave himself up for.
I don’t believe in the church that is riddled with physical and spiritual abuse. But I do believe in the church that is continually washed and cleansed by Christ.
I don’t believe in the church that will not feed physically and spiritually the hungry and the poor. But I do believe in the church that is nourished and cherished by Christ.
How will we emerge after lockdown? We cannot and must not go back to the things that were wrong before. The fall-outs, the bickering, the gossip, the self-centred victim mentality. We must spring out of this lockdown with thoughts for unity and being the powerful Church that we are in God. The world will need us!