Boy, did it ever hit me the other week . . . !
I had been sitting in one of our discipleship courses that we have in place for new and young Christians. It was a ten week mid-size community that focused on a "sweeping worldview look at the Bible" (4 weeks), the Lord's prayer (3 weeks) and ended up with the church (3 weeks).
I had written the material on the church. It was designed for the small groups to work through a number of key biblical passages.
I was really moved by a few things:
(1) First, just how grateful these young Christians were. They were hungry to see what was in the Bible. They were excited to be a part of the church. They (many of them) had been through some of the worst the world had to offer. They had been touched by grace and they were wide open to Christ.
(2) Second, how powerful these old familiar texts were to these "newbies." And as they were being impacted by these passages which are rich in metaphors, I was once again moved by their power as well. It is amazing what the church is. Even when it does not live up to the potential, it is still these things, a living temple where God dwells by his Spirit.
(3) And when we finished our evening in prayer, gathered together in a circle, holding hands and asking God for more of his grace and mercy and that he would build and protect his church - there were heartfelt prayers offered.
We had our annual "Cardboard Testimony" Sunday . . . ! And the stories are simply amazing, beautiful, inspiring; and the sign of God's gracious presence hovering over the chaos of this world and redeeming what is lost and broken.
Our Christmas Communion service is right after that...
I found myself thinking - I love our church. A place where we recognize the messiness of life, where we are in awe of the beauty of Christ and where we celebrate the message of hope.
I hope you love your church.
May Christ help us all love the church the way he loves it (Ephesians 5:32-33).
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International