Why do we bother with Church?
I admit that I am borrowing an idea from a blog by James Emery White, Pastor of Mecklenberg Community Church. But his blog forced me to look at why we even bother with doing church.
All of the time, energy, money, land that churches use must have some reason besides having a nice place to meet on Sundays, a place for the kids to get together with friends during the week and have celebrate Holidays. So much time and energy has been given just this past week on Harvest Festivals and Trunk N Treat events. I’m not saying that any of these activities are wrong, just that they are not our focus.
The Church is here for one purpose, to declare that in Jesus Christ people can experience deep, lasting freedom from guilt, shame, depression, negative attitudes and addictions. The Church is here to be, not talk about, to BE a light to a world that is trapped in evil. We don’t talk about evil very much. We use terms like ‘Terrorism’, ‘Hate-crimes’, ‘Our rights’, along with others. Evil is not about race, education, income level or having both parents at home. You and I know people who do not have anything I just wrote and they are kind, courageous, honest people. We also know people who are the ‘right’ race, whatever that is and they have the diplomas and 6 figure income and visit Mom & Dad for Christmas but they are evil. But that would be rude Paul. That would be judgmental. No, that would be Biblical!
The Church, the Body of Christ is here to stand as a beacon of light in the darkness of this world. If the Holy Spirit would open our eyes to the light, or lack of light in the hearts and lives of the people we work with, pass by in the store, even live with we would be shocked. Our culture is advanced beyond any idea of evil people. But the news was filled with another example of a heart impacted, influenced, motivated with evil.
Now I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. But this doesn’t mean that we wink at people living selfish, self-centered lives. People whose lives are littered with the broken hearts, spirits or relationships in their wake. Jesus Christ is the light of the world and we, the Church is here for one purpose – declare the light! Proclaim to this world trapped in darkness that only Jesus can bring the unity, equality, fairness, that we desperately desire. But we can’t talk about Jesus in our schools. We scrub Jesus from our State seals. We push Ministry leaders away who might pray in Jesus’ name during City Council meetings. We are willing to embrace any other religious or philosophical system to feel better about ourselves. We are a foolish people shaking the flashlight, cursing the darkness but refusing the put the battery in the flashlight. After all, we know better.
If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, would you stop, quiet your spirit and confess the expectation for church to entertain us and keep our children busy? Will you join me in confessing our failure to be light in our corner of this dark world? Will we dare to obey Jesus’ command to go and proclaim the Kingdom? If we fail to carry the light, to bring the light to the people in our world, who else do we have to blame but ourselves when the darkness consumes us?
We will not let the light of Christ be snuffed out in our generation! Stand your ground! Hold Fast!
Humbly asking the Lord to forgive me for not being faithful to the one purpose we have in this life,