Sunday, August 28, 2005

I skipped Church today?


Yesterday I finished moving into my “Mod” (the five person module I’ll be living in this school year at APU). There are only three of us living here but now but two more are coming in a week. We are not really settled in at all but we’re taking our time and that’s ok.
We all apparently decided to skip church this morning but I don’t doubt that in some way, shape, or form we will be “doing church” on our own.

Is that a problem?

I used to have real confusion, what am I saying I still do, about “doing church” I would have been appalled a year ago if a Christian would have told me that they skipped church. I would have continued to explain to them the importance of going to church… going… to church. Think about that statement for a minute, “going to church.” Does that statement make sense to you? Of course it does… but stop and envision with me what the Church is… what it looks like. Maybe, just stop relax for a second and think. What is the Church?

“We are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself”

“Our High Priest sat down in the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. There he ministers in the sacred tent, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.”

"Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it."

“We who believe are carefully joined together, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.”

When we say “I am going to church” what are we implying? We are saying it’s a place that we go. We have to get there at a certain time, you know, to get good seats. We sing songs and read bible verses. We have to buy coffee from the youth group table. Have a donut and go home to return in seven days, maybe sooner, like Wednesday evening for bible study and more coffee.
Is that what church is?

Church is not a place we go… it’s us. “We who believe” are the Church. We gather and tell our stories and serve each other and others and sing songs of our hope and our fears. We are real people who are alive. We live. We \are Church, God’s Church but we are people. We are anointed but confused. God brought us from dust, from the ground but he breathed His spirit into us. We are beautifully imperfect.

If you have questions about why the church is “messed up” maybe you need to remember that it’s us. It’s you. It’s people and we’re confused so why would we expect the Church to be perfect? It’s beautifully confused. Now, If it only knew it was confused…

Maybe our culture hates church because it’s never seen it or understood it.

Church is everyday and everywhere. So today, go to church, but remember what it is. Be Church, be people, not to a building. Live as the Church... together.

4 comments:

Ron said...

Nice post, Wes!

Saw your post on Gina's site, and thought I would visit. I agree with you; our focus should not be as much on going to church as understanding that we are the church.

Also, I invite you to stop by my blog as well, as I just began a discussion on repentance, and am interested in reading your thoughts.

Ashley said...

What we missed Church, lol... great thoughts... it is so nice to think about how in a sense we can do church without actually attending church. Cool post.

Pastor Art said...

Church a building well ok? Wes let me push this idea a little farther. Step into the Tibetan Plateau, China, parts of Africa, ask where is church, if there were an answer other then ’what are you talking about?, the answer would not reflect a structure set aside only for this purpose. The largest “population” of Christ’s worshipers worldwide could be found gathered in houses, huts, fields, and many in prison. A large proportion of our brothers and sisters understand that “church” exposes them to hardship many times death.

The comfort we enjoy at this time within this country is not the norm. This summer while participating in a found raising effort for an international ministry that I spend a lot of my prayer efforts toward the statement in the goal of evoking a reaction from the listeners is typical of our thinking in this country. It was said that, “They are so poor”. this statement instigated an anger within me. Yahweh was speaking to me reminding me of what I know to be true and have seen with my own eyes concerning our place in this world whither the church or not!!!! ( the anger has not dissipated even to this day)

The truth if we use statistics of population is not that “THEY” are sooo poor but that “WE” are soooo rich. This contrast of population comparisons screams this. BUT BUT the blinded eyes of “this is the standard and it is owed to me” forms filters and cataracts reversing the truth allowing us to believe the lie of “THEIR” poverty.

The truth is that in our time and comparatively throughout history we ARE kings rich beyond measure even the poorest of us in this nation!!! The cry must be “WE are sooo rich”! moreover this wealth carries responsibility, for “to whom much is given…”

What does this have to do with where we “do church” I could spell it out but we had better get a grasp or like Yahweh’s people of old this can all be taken away - I think we are beyond the point of no return myself, and “doing church” will become for us the same as the majority of our brothers and sisters historically and contemporarily. Selah!!
Pastor Art

Teresa said...

The church? Is Jesus "at" the church? Jesus lives in us. I just don't understand how we got so far away from that to begin with. You might like this Wes:
http://housechurchchronicles.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/08/church_for_bett.html#comments