There’s a group exercise we do in Discipleship Class where we think intentionally about the Church. We imagine that we can create a new church, asking ourselves to consider the details. What would worship and music be like? Would we have a professional seminary-trained Pastor or not? What about leadership and how we govern ourselves? What’s our relationship like with other Houses of Worship? Do we want an older, historic building or something more modern? Or no building at all? How about what we do in the community? And how do we want to treat each other in our church?
We do this exercise to better understand the church as the Body of Christ, and that there’s diversity of thoughts and ideas about so many of these categories. Though we consider what’s imperative for a church to do in order to be a church at all. Historically that answer would be that a church must worship God, learn and teach the Christian faith, and go out into the world to serve others. It’s still as simple (and sometimes as complicated) as that! Worship. Make Disciples. Go and serve.
In just four days our church will be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Eve. We have services at 5 PM and 9 PM. And at both of these services, one of my favorite worship moments all year will happen—lighting candles and singing “Silent Night.” When we do this, I invite you to (safely!) look up for a moment and look around. Granted, since I’m up front I always have the best view. But you’ll notice that the candles have a way of illuminating our faces as we sing together. We can see one another in this lovely, special light. We can see one another in the light of Christ. And we remember that a church is never just a building or a budget or programs. Because it ends up that what ultimately makes a church a church is the people. People who are somehow, miraculously all part of the Body of Christ together. It’s a beautiful sight to behold.
(This Week’s Thoughts 12.20.18)