"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
I don't think I've talked about this much, but this summer our Sunday School class is doing the Experiencing God study...I love it....it seems God is using it right along with my Russia experiences and the Girl's Group book to drive home this whole idea of Community. Here's what I read this morning:
One of the problems many evangelical churches face today is that they have so emphasized the doctrine of the priesthood of believers they have lost their sense of corporate identity. What does that mean in simple words? Christians think they stand alone before God and that they are not accountable to the church. Christians do have direct access to God. They only need to go through Christ as their Mediator. God, however, created the church as His redemptive agent in the world. He has a purpose for the church. God places every member in a church to accomplish His redemptive purposes through that church.
I can't imagine my life without my church and CSF. I think of the people who have loved our family and taken us into their homes for meals and free babysitting and prayer and crazy bridge....students who have cleaned my house or brought me Ice from Sonic, encouraged us with a kind card, or inspired me to chase after God more purposefully...sermons that have spoken Truth into my life, people who have set an example that inspires me, friends who have challenged and corrected me lovingly, opportunities to serve that help me see God more clearly....
Last weekend we had a reunion with some of our friends from college....we were all involved at the Christian Campus House, and these were some of our closest friends, several of them standing up in our wedding with us. I asked one where his family was attending church, and the response I got was one of bitterness and hurt. They weren't attending, and didn't sound like they had any intention of changing that.
It broke my heart.
I don't judge them....it's hard to be part of a Community. People suck sometimes. But, God's church is life-giving, too! What would my life be without the Church? I might have a little more free time on my hands, but other than that....really....it would be empty. How often I've taken the Church for granted and thought only of how it benefits me or fits into my plans. The other important thing is that GOD LOVES THE CHURCH. Not just like "I love ice from Sonic"...God is IN LOVE with the church, passionately. I want to love the things God loves, and God loves the church...I think he even loves the ones that stink....
Today I'm so very thankful for RCC and CSF!!