Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This is the Church

This is the church
and this is the steeple
open the doors
and see all the people.

This cute little children’s nursery rhyme is meant to be chanted while interlocking fingers together with the index fingers being the steeple, sums up many people’s definition of church. It’s a building with people wiggling around inside. (careful about the wiggling or you’ll be considered irreverent)

Greetings when you meet someone and find out that they’re a Christian.

What church do you belong to?
Who’s church do you belong to?

Common enough questions within church circles. If not answered with a name other than Jesus, your very essence of being a Christian may be regarded with skepticism, antagonism or pity. (Oops, even when you do give a name other than Jesus, you may still be regarded with skepticism, antagonism or pity.)

How was the word, church (ekklesia), morphed into meaning a building and/or a group of people led by one man? That’s a huge question that can only be understood through studying church history. Not for the faint of heart who want 5 second answers handed out neatly like napkins at a restaurant. Have no fear we can dispense of the history lesson because it’s actually easier to go back to the original meaning of the word. Whew, history lesson averted.

How the bible defines the word “church”.

Matt 16:18 (NIV) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Ephe 1:22 (NIV) And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

1Pet 2:4 (NIV) As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Some would say, “I knew it meant that.”

Really? I'm so glad you know that we are brothers and sisters, His church, joined together by none other than Jesus Christ himself.

No comments: