Sunday, 6 December 2009

What is church ?

We normally think of "Church" as the building.

We are all "The Church". Each one of us, when we become Christians we become part of “The Church”.

There is nothing wrong in having a church building, it is somewhere where we can come together and worship God. The early church in Bible times did not have church buildings and met in each others homes. I wonder if any church congregations today would be able to fit into one of our homes. I suppose we have grown too big to fit in a home. When we visit each other at home we are part of the church meeting in a home.

The church is also a family. The Family of God.

God is our father, our heavenly father, and we are all His children.

We have to love each other as a family, meeting each others needs lovingly as God meets our needs. The more God gives us the more we have to give away to people worse off than ourselves.

The early church in the Bible listened to God and the Holy Spirit and when prompted sold possessions to meet others needs, and gave away other items they had that other people needed.

The church is also formed not for ourselves to be an inward looking group of people, but looking at ways to help others outside of the church both materially and spiritually. God's great commission to all Christians is to "go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" Mark 16:15. (NIV)

Not all of us have to stand up and preach from a pulpit. There are many ways to preach the good news, sometimes without words but with good deeds.

Some people have been called to go to foreign lands to preach the good news, but others are called to stay at home and witness to their friends and neighbours and tell them the good news.

We have all been called to be witnesses and this is done by talking and doing good to others.

Part of being a witness is to show God's love to one another. People will be drawn to God's love by the way we act and react to each other both inside and outside of the church family.

Where ever we go and have come into contact with other Christians, we have found more family and we have found God's love. This can be sometimes visiting friends and friends of friends, visiting other churches and even meeting total strangers.

One time we were going back to the UK from one of our many trips to Romania and stopped at a restaurant in Hungary. There was only one other couple in the restaurant. They heard us talking about Romania and the visit and asked why we had been to Romania. It turned out they were on their way to Romania and worked there too.

They were French and we were English and we only knew a small amount of each others language. It ended up with us both, (English and French) having a conversation in Romanian, sharing a meal together and sitting at the same table in a Hungarian restaurant. We often wonder what the waitress thought.

There were no barriers between us because God brought us together through His love, we were all part of the same family.

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