Church for the Sake of the World
What does it mean to be Church?
Bishop Eaton often talks about how we are called to be "Church Together." I completely agree with her and hope this is a truth we, at Holy Redeemer, are continually living out and living into. All of us are ministers of the church. All of us work together to further God's Kingdom. All of us are called to share our gifts and talents.
Church isn't the work of one. Church is the work of all of us. Us together in Christ. Us united in Christ and led by the Holy Spirit.
But, Bishop Eaton doesn't stop there. She also asserts that we are called to be "Church for the Sake of the World." Sometimes I think we forget that next step. We forget that Church isn't about just "me" and "my faith." Once Christ is revealed to us, it's meant to be shared. The Gospel is good news meant to be shared with the world. We, as the Church, are meant to join in sharing the Good News and pointing to where God is active and alive. We aren't Church for me. We are Church for the Sake of the World. Apostle Paul understood that more than anyone.
This week our 2nd Reading is Paul's Letter to the Galatians (Galatians 1:11-24) In this passage from Paul, we hear that God's grace and Son (Jesus) are revealed in and to Paul. Paul is transformed by Christ's presence and grace. His whole life and perspective changes. He is forever different upon experiencing God. But, Paul doesn't stop there. He takes that next step. He goes to unknown places, cities and towns and shares the Gospel. He testifies to the grace and love of Christ. He shares as Christ has extended it to him, Christ extends it to ALL.
This step Paul takes is one I hope we, as a Church, continue to ask if we are taking. Are we being Church for the Sake of the World? Or are we Church just for me?
In Scripture, we hear that revelation is always connected to sharing. We read that love is always connected with togetherness.
If Church is a place where Jesus is revealed to us and where we experience God's love, (which I believe it is!) then Church is also a place where sharing and togetherness are always an integral part of who we are and we we are called to be.
Thanks for all you do in the name of our Risen Christ!