Be The Church

Read: Romans 12:3-11

What is the church?  When asked that question some might refer to certain buildings around a town or city.  Others would say that the church represents the body of Christ.  Others would say that it is the people of God who meet together and work together to further the good news of Jesus in the world.  And there are probably even more ways that people would define the church beyond these.  From the example that Paul gives in Romans 12 three words are used to describe Christ’s church.  Sacrifice, Humility, and Love.

It reminds me of a Vacation Bible School story I once heard about.  During this particular VBS the teacher was the one who learned a valuable lesson from the children.  On the third day a new student was brought into the room after the class had already started.  This little boy had one arm missing and the teacher was wondering how the children would treat him and interact with him.  She was hoping that they would not say something insensitive to him to hurt his feelings.

Then as the class came to a close she asked the children to join her in their usual closing by saying, “Let’s make our churches, let’s put our hands together to form the church.  “Here’s the church and here’s the steeple, open the doors and…”  Suddenly the awful truth had struck her.  The very thing she had feared that the children would do, she had done.  The little boy was not able to participate.  As the teacher stood there speechless, the little girl sitting next to the boy reached over with her left hand and placed it up to his right hand and said, “Josh, let’s make the church together.”

As I go through my week and see the various interactions of our church family I am reminded of how important the church is to people, to a community, and to the world.  The examples of sacrifice, humility, and love that I witness each week are a testimony to what the church can and should be in this world.  We are not perfect, we sometimes need to practice grace and forgiveness, but it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the church of Jesus Christ.

As someone once said, “The world at its worst needs the church at its best.”  When we think of all the Christian ministries around the world, the good news of Jesus that is being shared and proclaimed, all the hospitals that are named after Christian churches and denominations, all the acts of love and service that are shown to those in need, we realize what an awesome calling this is.  In verse 5 Paul says, “So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

As I see Christ’s church interact with each other on social media and serve with each other in the community I am reminded of how different our lives would be without Christ and without each other.  Yes, we have different personalities and different gifts, but we have been given a larger purpose in life.  A purpose that brings God’s kingdom to this earth and joins together to point people toward Jesus our Savior.  Our hope is that through the church Jesus might become their Savior as well.

Make it personal:  How have you been the church to someone this week?  Think about Paul’s three words of Sacrifice, Humility, and Love.  How can you practice those as you interact with family, friends, and co-workers this week?  I hope that you will make church a valuable part of your life and attend a local church regularly.  Get involved, get to know people, and find the purpose that Jesus has for your life.

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church