Saturday, September 04, 2004

Church is beautiful!

Church is awesome. As an institution the church probably has one of the worst reputations in the world, down there with all the things we love to hate. But church is awesome. It is. I've been reading Ephesians 2v15-3v11, preparing for a talk in Novemeber... Amazing to see the who, what, how and why of the church!

2v15-18 Who is the church?
A new humanity created by God at the cross where Jesus died.
2v19-22 What is the church?
The place where God lives!
3v1-9 How is the church?
By the preaching of the gospel to all peoples.
3v10-11 Why is the church?
To declare the gospel to the heavenly realms.

God's big plan from the beginning of time has been to create a global people whom he lives with. Human rebellion delayed this but God's purposes are being achieved! Because of the death of Jesus a new humanity, reconciled to God and to each other is made - a new community, that is what church is - not an institution but a family. A family where absolutely anyone is welcome.

And it is a house where God lives - with Christ as cornerstone, and the Bible as it's foundations, inhabited by God! God's dwelling place. God doesn't live in church buildings but in Christian people all over the world.

The church is made by the preaching of the good news about Jesus Christ to all peoples - anyone is welcome. As people hear the goods news they believe, and that is all that is required to join the church - to turn from life apart from God, and come on in.

And the result - the church a declaration of God's good news, God's purpose to the heavenly realms. This isn't something the church has to try to do - it simply is this.

The church is great. And the invitation to join is open! Come and join the people of God. Too often we look a shaby shadow of what we really are but that is because the church is made up of imperfect people saved by Jesus. Too often we, the church, forget who we are meant to be... like cinderella with amnesia...