At some point during this time of “gathering together” someone will probably suggest that we go to “church.” I’ve been thinking about “church” today.
Southerners (and others) will remember Bo Jackson for his football career at Auburn University, being named the Heisman trophy winner in 1985. He was the first athlete in modern times to play professional baseball and basketball in the same year. Not only did Bo play the two sports during the same years, but he was also an All Star in both. That status caused Nike to make him their cross-training spokesman in 1989 and 1990.
When Nike used Mr. Jackson as their spokesman, they used the phrase “you don’t know Bo.” What an interesting thought.
Recently, an acquaintance told me that they had “quit going to church” because it was boring and not relevant. Although that conversation has and will continue between us friends, I think that at some point, I may say, “You don’t know church.”
“Church” is not something I go to. Yes, there is a building in which we meet and some call that building the “church”, but they are wrong. It is just a building where we meet.
“Church” is a community that has accepted me and supports me.
This week, “church” called and told me that I needed a break — they would take over some tasks that I had planned to do; their offer was just what I needed.
Two weeks ago, “church” visited my parents as Poppa was hospitalized and struggling. Then “church” encouraged them, shared with them, prayed with them, and cared for them.
The last few years “church” has listened and commiserated with us as we fought with bureaucratic offices and processes.
Yesterday “church” took meals over to people in need (without those who received having to ask or pay for it).
“Church” comforted the family who lost a child and needed “family” when their blood family lived far away.
“Church” encouraged me to continue my education and study.
“Church” not only preformed the marriage ceremony for us, but taught us what marriage should be, gave us wonderful things to use in our new home, encouraged us every day.
“Church” helped me when John was deployed, prayed for the two of us, and helped us celebrate his return.
“Church” does not ask us for money but encourages us to be faithful to God.
“Church” does not preach at us, but shares truths from the Bible each week and teaches in a way that we understand. When we don’t agree with something, “church” listens to our point and never pushes us away.
“Church” brings us together with people we would never meet during our daily activities. “Church” has given us friends who are there for us no matter what.
“Church” lets us use our creativity to serve. We are not assigned to dull tasks, but we take on projects because we want to serve, and we love the people we are with.
But, most of all “church” encourages me to walk with God. When I have doubt, “church” is there. When I have fears, “church” is there. When I am discouraged, “church” is there. When I am ready to celebrate, “church” is there.
If you asked me to describe “church” I would use words like: focused on Christ; mature and just getting started; single, married, divorced; the full gamut of skin tones; the weak and the strong; rich in potential; caring; homeless and house-rich; curious; concerned; loving…I could go on and on and on.
Friend, Christmas is the perfect time to rethink your assumptions about “church.” If you think “church” is a building and a sermon, you don’t know “church.”
“Church” is God’s people, living and working together to make this world heaven on earth.
Hope to see you at “church” soon!!
Jill (just one of God’s kids)