Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Sunday, April 17, 2016

How Important is the church?

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I wonder, if we were to ask the person in the street, “Why is the church important?” … we would get a wide range of answers. Some would laugh at the question, because for them the church has no importance. 

Others might see the church in the same category as museums:  The church preserves things from the past… They’re a nice place to visit on rainy days, where you can observe how quaintly people used to live, but they’re out of touch with our modern world.  

Others might couch their answer in political terms: They view the church as a powerful voting block to oppose the erosion of morality and to preserve the family.

Or, some might respond to our question by saying that they see the church’s importance as a social institution.  It helps meet the physical needs of the poor and the emotional needs of the lonely and distraught. It ministers to people at the pivotal times of life: birth, marriage, death … 

For many American churchgoers, the church is important because it meets many of their personal needs. They shop around for a church that makes them feel good each week…when they feel good, they is no reason to go. It is a weekly boost that enables them to cope with life.

Then, we come to a short, balding man with a beard, who looks decidedly Jewish. Somewhat hesitantly, we ask him,  “Sir, we’re asking people the question,  ‘Why is the church important?’ Would you care to comment?”

He says, “I believe the church of Jesus Christ is the most important force in the world today. Its task is more important than all the governments and universities of the world combined. There is nothing to compare with it!” We reply, “That’s a pretty strong statement, sir! Why do you say that?”

He leans forward and says,
“Because the most significant event in human history was when the living God took on human flesh and lived among us as the Lord Jesus Christ to bear our sins. And since He ascended into heaven, His church now reveals Him on earth, even as He revealed God when He was on earth.” So, The church is important because it reveals Christ, even as Christ reveals God in human flesh.”

I believe this statement with all my heart, even more today that ever before. The church is the unified assembly bearing the embodiment of Grace and Truth. You know I love ya, now go out and be Jesus to somebody! Don

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