Thursday, August 06, 2009

Church Without Walls

This week the three older kids are at a Drama Camp at a church in another town. Since it didn't seem worth it to drop them off and run home for a few hours, the little girls and I have been trying to find things to do. Today, we got the day off because Mike had some meetings and took them for me.

There are two other women that I know who are bringing their older kids to the camp. Their husbands are in the Pastor's Prayer group with Mike. So we know them a little but in all the busyness of life and ministry don't see them that often. The last few days, we've spent time together at the park and at the house of the one who lives in town. It's been such a great time of fellowship for me.

We've got some hot-button differences to contend with. Our churches are all different denominations. Some of us are dealing with difficulties. Some of our kids are white, some are not. Some of our kids go to a Christian school, some go to public school and some home school. Some are pregnant (not me), some in the process of adopting (not me) and some are done having kids (Yep Me). But we all love the Lord and are passionate about serving Him.

A while ago, I would never have sent my kids to something at another church, mostly for selfish reasons. I want our church to be the best and biggest. I want us to have recognition. But God has shown me that those thoughts are screwed up and wrong. It seems silly to write this down but, Who should get the glory in any church or ministry? The pastor? The Pastor's wife? The worship team? The Sunday School teacher? The beauty of the building?

No! God gets it. We should be after His glory and nothing else. Churches (that teach about the God of the Bible) aren't in competition with each other. We are all working for the same prize: to share the loving grace of Jesus Christ. And it's been a great thing for Mike to pray every week with all the other pastor's in the area. Now these friends of mine and I thought we should do the same. We hope to gather ourselves and little ones for prayer next month.

I'm glad to know some people in my church are getting fed through the ministry of the Christian school and walking with another pastor's wife in the morning. Those are all good things even though they don't involve me. Don't get me wrong, I think it's important to be committed to a family of believers and to support your Pastor. But God's work is bigger than buildings, egos and denominations. God's work is in the heart.

This picture is proof that we literally attend a church without walls.

But although there are many church buildings out there, some grand and glorious, some humble and small there is only one foundation in the church without walls and that's Jesus.

Ephesians 2:19-22
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.

Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth;
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
we see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.
Samuel J. Stone, 1839-1900

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