I doubt you will, but just in case you search for me early on Monday mornings, you’ll find me with a random group of women I’ve come to adore. This group longs to deepen their relationship not only with each other, but more importantly with Jesus. We are a hodgepodge of ages, backgrounds, theologies, and worship styles. We sing together. Pray together. Study together. Sometimes eat together. Serve together. Cry together. And we laugh a whole lot together. I guess it would be safe to say that together we are the church.
No, we don’t all worship in the same place on Sundays, but we believe that Jesus is who He says He is, that He does what He says He will do, and that He does it for us – over and over and over. We know that it is only the blood of Jesus that has erased our sins and put us in good standing with God. It is that same blood that continually showers us with a grace that’s undeserved. Because we know this, we relentlessly love God and are constantly hoping to learn how to love those around us more compassionately. Yes, we are the church. And, if you believe, accept, and proclaim these things, you are the church too!
As members of the church, each one of us is chosen, loved, blessed, forgiven, and redeemed. We are sealed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are guarded and protected by the cross of Jesus. We are taught by God and entrusted with His Word. We inspire each other to be joyful even in sadness, to be calm in the midst of chaos, to be patient when we can’t see an answer, to be hopeful when we’re discouraged, and to serve those who can’t return the favor. Yes, we are the church!
“This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.”Ephesians 2:19-22 The Message
Our mission is a holy mission propelled by supernatural power. There is no greater purpose. No greater calling. No greater responsibility. And no greater thrill. The mission we gladly choose to accept is to proclaim the greatness of our God! We stay watchful for His hand. Thankful for His blessings. Amazed by His providence. Astounded by His power and confounded by His creation. Shouting about His faithful love, amazing grace, and the power of His Spirit comes naturally. Our purpose does not lack importance. It is not frivolous. It is never trivial. Our purpose is to be the church Jesus died for. To love being the church that attracts others to Jesus. To become a bride fit for Jesus our groom. And, to speak well of the church that represents Christ!
And all the church said …