We are the church

We are the church, the body of our Lord,
we are all God’s children and we have been restored
It is a time of celebration. We gather together where ever we are and become church. Not the noun “church” but the verb “church.” We become what we do together, we become what God has called us to be, we become the word active in the world in word and deed. We become collectively and individually a part of the Body of Christ.
The church is not a building where people go to pray;
it’s not made out of sticks and stones, it’s not made out of clay.
Buildings have walls, that may seem like a good thing in Alaska, helps keep the cold out. It also helps keep people out. For many, funerals and weddings are the entry point to the church. Hopefully it is for someone else’s funeral, but not always. Walls hide what goes on inside the building and for many, what goes on in there is mysterious, corny and outdated. But there are times, passages in life, where the unchurched or largely unchurched are drawn to fill the void in their hearts. Sometimes they come to worship, sometimes they are knows as the CEO’s (Christmas, Easter Only). They are the children of God, working to connect with the word of God in here because we have not effectively taken the word of God out there. The failing is less on their part than on ours.
You can go to worship but you cannot go to church;
You can’t find a building that’s alive no matter how you search
Worship can be anywhere. Where two or three are gathered is how Jesus puts it in Matthew. Too often, people come to worship to find God. They miss the point of worship. Worship is the place to come and celebrate with all the other party goers, what God has been doing through you, out there. Church is a verb, it is what you are doing away from that building. It is the caring for people, serving at beans, listening, checking in, praying, bringing meals, sharing resources, smiling, writing letters to government officials, getting involved. Worship is the party where you come together and say “Wow.” It shouldn’t be called a church, it should be called “the party place.”
The church is not a business, a committee or a board;
It’s not a corporation for the business of the Lord.
There are constitutions, bylaws, contracts, goals and expectations for sure, but they are not the church. They are simply the square hole into which some try to stuff this ever changing blob with no clear defining boarders into. The annual report is this collection of data with boxes for; members, baptized and confirmed, ethnicity, languages spoken, transfer by affirmation and the most important box, statistical adjustment. I would like to see a report that indicated somehow, how many people were talked to or ministered to by how many people who may in some way or another connected to this ever changing living body, or ministered to by our web radio, or received some of the food we provided. There are no boxes or business models for that, only chaos theory.
The church, it is the people, living out their lives,
called, enlightened, sanctified for the work of Jesus Christ.
And the work of Jesus Christ is to bring the whole world back together. It is beating swords into plowshares, it is binding up the broken hearted, bringing sight to the blind and light to the world, it is setting free those who are bound in their self imposed prisons and finding out why so many are locked up in societies prisons and finding out what we can do to bring about a change in that, it is to proclaim the year of the Lord where all will be given the economic chance to succeed and strive, it is to forgive and heal and make whole, it is to love, actively love all in this world, especially, the unlovable, it is to bring back together all of creation and look at it and join with the voice of God pronouncing it good, and it is to be done not by the priest, pastor, rabbi or imam, but by all the people of God. Because, remember that:
We are the church, the body of our Lord;
We are all God’s children. We have been restored.
“The church song” text and music by Jay Beech 1988


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