January 31, 2017

Body Building

One local church has an intermittent attendee and an occasional visitor, but generally speaking the membership consists of the pastor and his wife and one elder. The pastor said, “We never know who will come, but it’s often just us.” Certainly the Lord is present when two or more are gathered in His name, but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around maturing the church body with so few body parts. Paul said Christ is the head of the body, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph 4:16 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----We must be careful about how we view ourselves. Knowing the Lord rightly is of concern to most who desire to belong to Him. It is really uncomfortable to consider that we are wrong about Him in very many ways. Yet we see all those churches around the valley; how many? 50? 60? And they all have beliefs and objectives that in one way or another counter what we believe. So we must be right! We’ve got to teach everyone the truth about the Lord! So, here we are. Three people doing church.
-----The logic must run at least similar to that. The new “old adage” floating around the church is as right as it is wrong, “It isn’t about me.” What I do in the church, anyway, isn’t about me entirely. Of course it is about me in as much as I go to church to maintain connection with my Lord through connection with His others, to be nourished and built up. But that is like the Chinese finger trap. Going about collecting all my nourishment and up building down grades my soul. Encouraging and building up the people I find in His body connects me to be nourished and built up by them. So it is about us. And in as much as I am one of us, it is that much about me, which is as much as it is about you. Why would I rather go worship on a river bank with a fish I just pulled from his peaceful home by a hook through the roof of his mouth out the top of his head? The “us” in that picture are not being very mutually caring about one another. That is only about me entirely. And insisting that I be the spiritual server to the point only my wife and a faithful friend playing elder are the sole members of the body is not too many steps away from worshipping on the river bank. It doesn’t make sense outside the mental framework wherein there is more “me” than “we”.
------But, the Lord has to be pretty gracious to accept anything from any of us. All of us a are false, of course, not meaning each of us is entirely false, but that none of us are entirely true. That means there’s always room for improvement. And when your life comes from One who is perfect to carry you into perfection, then improvement becomes the continual order of the day as we “are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (II Cor 3:18) It’s just hard to imagine the Lord leading those three into all that improvement for building up and encouraging those three. And I am left wondering when people will begin to notice the church is first and foremost gathered interaction of the faithful, a being together out of the nature of the new life, a community of serving one another rather than a weekly theater for bolstering beliefs by performing rituals.
-----Yes. Where any two are gathered, there He is also. And where the rest are gathered, there He is moreover. It makes me wonder, why the sequester?

Love you all,
Steve Corey