2019-04-16- The Church Stands
As I write this, i am aware that in the last week, at least four churches have burned. At this moment, the historical Cathedral of Notre Dame is engulfed in flames. During the Civil War, while some churches were spared, others were gratuitously desecrated by Northern soldiers with their parties and vandalism. Churches are not exempt from natural disasters, either. Some church buildings are destroyed by lightning, and other houses of worship are blown apart by tornadoes.
We should all pray for all those affected by every loss of a church building, for they are meaningful to the local worshippers. In the case of Notre Dame, it is meaningful to millions of people all over the world. And we should pray for justice in any cases of arson. But regardless of the physical destruction of any worship buildings, the Church still stands and always will, because the actual Church doesn’t consist of a building. The Church is the body of Christ, made up of all believers - irrespective of time, place or denomination, because of Christ’s victory over death, which many Christians are celebrating during this week which is often known as Holy Week. Those who believe in Christ’s sacrifice for us and His resurrection ARE the church.
Ephesians 5:23 (Wycliffe Version) for the man is head of the woman, as Christ is head of the church; he is Saviour of his body.
For those of us who are Christians, our Christian family lies not only in our own communities; rather, we have family members all over the world and throughout history! We have brothers and sisters who worship in secret house churches in Communist countries (yes, still today, as some members and pastors are persecuted and imprisoned, as I write this). We have family who worship in fields in Africa, because their congregations are too poor to afford a building, yet they worship heartily “in spirit and in truth.” We have siblings who worship in homeless ministries. One of the most rewarding blessings I have ever experienced, was when I served as a pianist for a weekly worship meeting of homeless men. Neither before nor since, have I experienced more sincere worship.
So when we pray, when we give, when we serve, may we remember that we are in solidarity with Christ’s body everywhere.
Ephesians 2:19 (NCV) Now you who are not Jewish are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family
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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.