You are the church but the church is NOT you. Let me say that one more time.
You are the church but the church is NOT you. Do you get it?
You are the church. You are the body of Christ living and serving in this time and at the places you choose to be the hands and feet of Christ in the earth. But the church is NOT limited to your hands, feet, gifts, opinions, schedule, or personal preferences. And honestly, that is such a very good thing!
In God's infinite wisdom, God knew that none of us, regardless of your race, age, gender, class, economic or social status as individuals could be the epitome of the universal church. We are the body of Christ "fitly joined together" [Ephesians 4:16] and all that I am, all that you are is NOT all that the church has been, presently is, or will ever become.
I do not know why no one has not told you or convinced you of this truth. I do not know why you tend to think that you and/or your church has the monopoly or the only model for how the body of Christ is to be actively engaged in carrying the light of Christ in this world. Has anyone ever directly informed you that the church is so far BEYOND your doctrines, creeds, strategic plans, ministry calendars, volunteer applications, and leadership models? I mean, clearly, in these days and times, you cannot think, or maybe you do think that your way is the ONLY way to be the church in this world. And if this is where you are, you are very mistaken.
We all need our bubbles popped right now and sirens need to be going off if your definition of church excludes at the bare minimum an acknowledgement that the church is BEYOND you and your church. You need to wake up from your fantasy if you think that the church is strictly defined by the things that have defined the culture of your congregation. You really need to get a clue if you think that the church universal, worldwide, international should only embrace what has brought you or your family "joy" across the generations.
My friends, the Body of Christ as we do not seem to know, is so far beyond you and me and every other popular Christian guru who has been given the social authority to speak for "us." We are the church but the church is not just us.
You are the church but the church is not just you
I am the church but the church is not just me.
The church cannot be contained in ONE building or ONE denomination or ONE way of expressing worship especially when our identifying mark as ONE body, ONE spirit, ONE hope, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all is ignored. [Ephesians 4:4-6] And if you do not believe me, OPEN your Bible and you will read for yourself the diverse expressions of Christ and community. Our common denominator is Jesus Christ. And with the deepest humility, we must all accept that the ways we choose to live in community with each other and the whole world are NOT the only ways to be the church.... NOT the only way to be faithful.
So, my friends, I accept that:
Within the universal church
we receive the gift of ministry
and the light of scripture.
And we are called and commanded to go into the world to make disciples. This is our ministry and this is what it says in Scripture. And as I am faithful to use the gift of ministry and to expose the light of scripture, whose name is JESUS, I do so in connection with sister and brother Christians all over this world. AND -
In the bonds of Christian faith
we yield ourselves to God
that we may serve the One
whose kingdom has no end..... and whose church is so far beyond YOU and ME!
Blessing, glory, and honor
be to God forever. Amen.
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
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