It’s time to be “The Church”

Devotional Thought of the Day:
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25  The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, 26  the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 27  You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (MSG)

575      To think of Christ’s Death means to be invited to face up to our everyday tasks with complete sincerity, and to take the faith that we profess seriously. It has to be an opportunity to go deeper into the depths of God’s Love, so as to be able to show that Love to men with our words and deeds. (1)

I am getting tired of conversations about the church.  There are theologians who will talk of church militant and church triumphant.and the visible and invisible Church.  There are consultants who will talk about healthy churches, revitalizing churches, legacy churches (the new euphemism for a church dead or dying, usually blamed on being 25 years or older)  There are goals to be seeker oriented, confessional, conservative, liberal, missional, contemporary, and a thousand more labels.

It’s time to stop all of the strategic talk, all the planning and plotting and vision casting and calls for others to repent.

I love the description of the church in Paul’s 12th chapters of Romans and 1 Corinthians. It’s not an organization, or a entity.  It is a family, a body, an organism, not an organization.  When one part of the church hurts, whether through real persecution/martyrdom, whether through grief and bereavement, no matter the cause, the entre church hurts, whether this is a cell ground of 6 or 8, a small church like mine of 60, or a mega church of 2000, or the Church as the entire body of Jesus Christ.  The same thing is true with moments of joy.  If all of heaven parties, if God dances when a prodigal returns home, when a baby is baptized, when a cynic or critic is gifted with faith and repentance/transformation, the whole church should as well.

For this is who we are – one body, Christ’s body.

It shouldn’t take a team of experts consultants to realize this, or to provide 8 steps to seeing it happen. What it does take is bearing our cross with Christ, of seeing everything as killed off and that cross and re-created, reformed, brought together, bonded to His resurrection as we were to His death quickened, made alive IN Christ.

In the past week, I’ve  been there when friends are hospitalized, when a former member of my church was buried, when another friend struggled with sin, when they needed encouragement to enter that struggle. I’ve watched quite a few struggle in relationships, and I’ve seen people struggling with change, both good change, bad chance and just the fear of potential change.  This is church stuff my friends, it is the time where we need to all be together, weeping working, encouraging, partying,

I love St Josemaria’s quote today… Each of the moments, each of these struggles, and the celebrations as well – each is a time to encounter Christ, each is a time to see the marvelous love of God at work, to share that love, to receive that love.

When the people of God, called together do such things – whether 2 or 3 or 10,000 do this, they are His people, His church… they aren’t just talking and setting visions, they are finding the healing they need in Christ Jesus.. and helping others to heal….this is Eph. 2:10, and Article 6 of the Augsburg Confession.

This is the Church…. let’s be it.

Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2141-2144). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on January 3, 2015, in Devotionas, Poeima, The Forge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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