Sunday, October 28, 2007

what is the church?

What is the Church? Theologians' answer to the question runs along the lines of "All true believers in all places throughout history." This is the Church Universal and it's important we recognize this dimension of hte Body of Christ. However, the only way we can experience the Church as embodied persons is through local churches--communities of believers who commit to gathering regularly to worship, hear God's Word, take the Lord's Supper and practice the "one another's" found in the New Testament.

Here's the deal. As college students it's easy to see yourself as a part of the Church Universal because you are displaced from your home church and the Christian community from which you came. It's easy to see involvement on campus or even in a church's college group as fulfilling the place of of the local church. For some it's even seen as enough to experience multiple churches simultaneously.

The reality though is that Scriupture calls us to something more dynamic and more compelling. We are called to gather together as teh "Body of Christ"--a visible, embodied representation of life in Christ. Our committed love for one another is to testify to the power of the Gospel to change human relationships. Our corporate worship (note the "body" language in that word from Latin, corpus; not corporate in terms of a business corporation) is to show how we prize the God of the Bible above all else. Our common life together with people we wouldnt associate with except our family connection though Jesus, is to show the power of the cross to bring about reconciliation.

We can only do these things through gathering, committing, submitting, opening up, serving and praying for each other on a regular basis. Pastor Tim's series on the Church has been a great overview showing us what God's Word says about these things and what this looks like in practice. If you've missed any of htis series, go back and listen online or even subscribe ("Living the Gospel") on iTunes to catch up. You can also make sure you don't miss if you're ever out of town.

Beyond that, if you call Grace Church your home, I encourage you to put this series into practice--make attending worship service your priority on a Sunday. College Group is a great limb of the church, but we can only experience the Body by gathering with those who aren't just like us. Connect in a Growth Group to go deeper in your relationships with other people and with the Lord. (We'll be starting a new round of Growth Groups in Winter Quarter.) Take advantage of opportunities to serve and learn from all the generations at Grace.

No comments: