Mabey Memories

The desire of my heart is to become the person God dreams of and share those dreams with others; to unleash personal and corporate creativiy within the church, overflowing it with passion and freedom while searching for the face and character of God.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Who is the church?

"What is the church?"
"Who is the church?"

"And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn,
from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy." Colossians 1:18

"After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the
church - for we are members of his body." Ephesians 5:29-30

Bread comes in a bag, but the bread is not the bag. A present comes wrapped and bowed, but the present is not the wrapper and bow. These two simple illustrations help to remind that the church is not a "what" (bag, wrapper, or building), but rather a "who" (Christ and His people). The apostle Paul, who wrote the words typed above, knew that while the physical body of Christ had suffered and died on a cross, and was risen from the grave; there was a spiritual body of Christ which includes any who have asked for forgiveness of sin and have committed to follow Christ. While this seems so concise and simple, many have forgotten that because of this, the church is taken with you 24/7, not left behind when a building is closed up for the week. The church, then, happens everyday over the water cooler and in the break room, at the bus stop and in the classroom, at bathtime and bedtime, in the boardroom and, believe it or not, in the restroom.
Jesus command is for us to "Go!" His church was to permeate all of society, making a difference in social cause, medicine, education, government, marketplace, home, etc. The body was not for congregating, but for infiltrating. The body is not a impenatrable building, but a vulnerable people. There will always be reason for us to come together, but we are not "church" because we come together. We are "church" because we are Christ's body. This means that Christ is still very much visible to the world. Christ is visible every time we do something in His name and for His kingdom. He is present in and through each one of us.
So, who do people see when they look at you? Do they see Christ? Do they see that the body of Christ, the church, is available to them other than on Sunday morning? Let's make this even more real. The last time you came into contact with an ignoramus, did they see Christ in you? Did that guy who cut you off on the highway see Christ in you? Did the village idiot see Christ in you? Will the next person you see after you've read this see Christ in you?
We have eternity to congregate; we've only a season to infiltrate. Just thinking, Matt

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