Certainly sharing and spreading the good news was at the very top! But Jesus knew that the longevity of the new multi-ethnic people of God would require some organization.
These new believers would need the support of one another to not only grow and keep their faith but also provide for themselves. They would need to work together and share resources to be able to keep reaching out and showing God’s love to the world. We call this organization of God’s people, “Church,” but the early Christians just called it “Gathering.”
Why church? What would you do on a Sunday morning if you weren’t committed to church?
My cousins have coffee with their grandma. Isn’t that lovely? Other families make breakfast and sleep in. Some people get outside and get close to nature. People read books or the newspaper. Children watch cartoons or ride bikes.
The “church people” are decidedly the “odd” ones at this point.
Do you ever pop into the grocery store for a quick shop after church and notice the contrast between your church clothes and what everyone else seems to be wearing? ( Ps- Do you remember to be kind to clerks and table waiters when you are wearing your Sunday best?)
While I believe, at times, the church in America has gotten comfortable being a remnant activity for the leftover faithful, I don’t believe that is the heart of God.
Can you explain to a relative why it’s important to be active in a local church? You will! At least that’s our hope!
We continue to need to make the case for church to one another (for encouragement) and we need to help our next generation understand its importance.
Not sure Jesus values church? Remember… he married it.
Sam Allberry, priest in the Church of England, argues it this way: “If you want to understand how committed Jesus is to the church, here’s your answer. He doesn’t just create it and let it be. He marries it” (cf. Rev. 19:7-9), p. 15 in the book “Why Church?” by Sam Allberry).
So, let us do the work of spurring on one another over the next several weeks to come to an understanding on why church is still important today.