There is an outcry regarding the fact that like with many aspects of society the Church has been viewed as a non-essential and so its buildings have been closed. How dare they say we are non-essential? And the argument goes on!
But now the Church is going back to its buildings. Will anyone notice?
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:14-16
Yesterday I wrote about the local Church being only a movement and not the symphony itself. This year the Church has certainly been challenged in ways never known by many though of course for some it is a common occurrence whether because of an epidemic or war.
The word movement is a great way to describe the Church. It is not tossed back and forth in a non-strategic way rather is grows to become, it matures, it is joined and held together, it grows and builds as every person plays a part. Can you see the movement? A Church cannot stand still.
I see 3 major functions of the Church from these verses today.
The formation of the Church
The ultimate. Christoformity. Christ formed in us. We become more and more the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is achieved as we learn to envelope everything we do in love and then have the courage to speak the truth in that framework.
The formation of the Church is not achieved by charisma and power but by following the road of Christ. At the heart of the Church there should always be the evidence of the death and resurrection of Christ. That road must permeate every aspect of the body. It is the DNA of the Church. Anything else and the Church soon comes to look different to how it was meant to be. Celebrities rise and become the focus and the Church becomes a little child which is being thrown around and all because Jesus is anything but the Head. Blasphemy firstly occurs in the Church.
The connections within the Church
Every supporting ligaments are the words Paul uses and we are certainly picturing the body of a person.
Connections inspire and breathe life into new ideas.
Connections birth vision of what is possible.
Connections strengthen the whole.
Albert Einstein at 22 yrs old met with likeminded friends in homes and talked their ideas through the night. They called themselves the Olympia Academy.
Bill Gates at 15 yrs old met with other computer geek friends and called themselves ‘The Lakeside Programmers Group.’
Benjamin Franklin met every Friday with a group called The Junto of which may of his ideas were founded from that group.
J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S.Lewis every morning and Thursday evening met with a group called The Inklings.
Look at what is possible?!!
Now imagine what is possible if the Church came together for more than entertainment?
The contribution to the Church
We must treat the church the way Christ treats the church.
We must speak of the church in the way Christ speaks of the church.
We must love the church the way Christ loves the church.
Let’s not allow the spirits and attitudes of a godless society come into this church. That is the spirit of ‘what’s in it for me?” The godless attitude of living for oneself; the godless attitude of independence, not answering to anyone; the godless attitude of isolation, not allowing people into our lives.
God has plans to use each and every one of us. There is nothing more satisfying in this world than knowing that God is using you for His purposes and that you are fulfilling His plans for your life. That happens in and through the local Church.
The movement that we are part of, the Church, must move towards Christ (formation); towards each other (the Church) and also towards its mission (the world).
May we be that Church as we come back in a gathered setting and may we be known because we move.