Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Why I need my church....
This week's Bible verse:
"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods." -- Psalm 40:4
Church - to most Christians it's a place to go on Sunday mornings...part of the weekly routine. We work or go to school all week, waiting for the weekend. We are busy with sports or partying on Friday and Saturday nights, and then get ourselves up and out of bed on Sunday mornings to get our "God fix" and then it's back to the work week again.
I don't think Jesus had this kind of church life in mind for us when he first used the word church as he was talking to Peter.
"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." -- Matthew 16:13-18
For me, in the last 10 years, church has become much more than a place to go on Sunday mornings...it is my home, my community...it is a way of life...it is a group of people to "do life" with...and lately, it is becoming the home base for a different way of doing church...outside the walls.
Jesus said in John 16:33 "In this world, you will have trouble." And boy, do we ever! Jesus went on to say that in him we can have peace. He overcame the world and its trouble...so when we believe and perservere with Jesus, we too can overcome the trouble of this world. But, Jesus didn't mean for us to perservere and find this peace on our own. That's why he built the church. He said he would build the church on Peter, the rock. Peter, this flawed human being was the beginning of the church...where other flawed human beings can learn about God and learn to perservere in this world.
After Jesus left this earth, he left the church in the hands of Peter and the other disciples. They told others about the saving grace and peace of Jesus...those others believed and found that peace and shared with others...and so began the Christian church.
This world is too hard to go through alone! We need others to boost us up...we need others to remind us of God's grace on an daily basis. And we need others to band with and share this good news with still others who NEED the peace and grace that is available through Jesus Christ. We need the community that comes from a loving and Jesus-filled church!
A church is more than a building...it is a group of flawed human beings who need and desire the saving grace of God. I need this group of human beings around me to help me "do life." Yes, those humans will probably disappoint me and anger me at times...yes, those humans will make mistakes...but so will I. Jesus teaches forgiveness and grace. Where better to learn and practice that than with a group of other believers? And I mean not just on Sundays, but every day! I am so very thankful for my church...for my church family.
Do you have a church family you can rely on every day? Or, do you have a building you are obligated to go to on Sunday mornings? I pray that you reach out and find a family that will help you learn about the peace and perservance you can find through Jesus.