Careful, can I start out with a trick question? What would you fill in the blank with?
“Church is not the same without _______________ .”
Over this past year, that’s been over a year now, our understanding of church has definitely changed. We’ve had church in different ways from online to outside and inside, with some modifications.
What things have you missed? Have you missed the choirs? Have you missed the greetings, hugging and shaking people’s hands?
Were you able to fill in an answer to the question above? What must the church have?
I said it’s a trick question because as I asked it, I had Jesus' words to Peter in my head:
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and legal experts, and that he had to be killed and raised on the third day. 22 Then Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him: “God forbid, Lord! This won’t happen to you.” 23 But he turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stone that could make me stumble, for you are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” (Matthew 16, CEB)
Peter thought he had things figured out. There was no way Jesus was going to suffer. Jesus is the Messiah, He came to reign over all. Peter had good motives for sure, and yet, he was not thinking God’s ways. He was focused on what he thought should happen.
Throughout the years, it’s hard for me not to think we’ve done this to the church. We focused so much on what we want and what we think is important. We’ve been thinking human thoughts and not God’s thoughts.
At the end of the day, the only thing the church needs to be the Church is Jesus.
Church is about Jesus giving His life, defeating sin and death, so that as we believe in Him, we are made new. We are made new to follow Him, to love as He loves. We gather together to praise Him and to be there for one another, encouraging and equipping, helping each other to love as Jesus loves.
My point today isn’t to call out what is and what isn’t “God’s thoughts.” I’m not saying I have all the answers. My hope, though, is for all of us to have a desire to be The Church and be willing to let go of anything that is not of God.
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