It is very easy it is to fall into the mindset of ‘going to church’. Rather than recognise that God calls us together to ‘be the church’. Such a shift in thinking can be a Copernicum revolution for some. When we recognise the significance of the difference it makes in our life we’ll never want to go back to a spectator lifestyle.
It’s one thing to attend church, watch what happens, and then go home. It’s another to pray before going that you might encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ when you get there and play your part in the body of Christ. Then to participate in the way that happens in singing, praying, sharing as we ‘church’ together.
It’s one thing to watch a game from the stands but when you’re in the ruck or facing the fast ball, to grapple with the challenge and win the try or hit the six brings a joy that no spectator can fully appreciate. Church may not seem so dramatic as a sporting game. (Tho I’ve experienced some pretty deadly church services that still move faster than cricket. Sorry cricket fans.) But while the drama of what we’re doing may not be immediately obvious it’s nevertheless very real.
Ephesians 3’10 tells us we as the church declare the manifold wisdom of God to the powers and authorities in heaven. Ephesians 2’6 tells us we are in effect seated in the heavenly realms with Christ. What’s more we’re engaged in plumbing the depths of the love that surpasses knowledge.(Eph 3’19) A task that requires a healthy dose of God’s riches, his power at work in our life. (3’16) And his Spirit to apply what we learn in our life.(2’22)
The result of us ‘being church’ as we should produces a life change in us that impacts all we do, all week. And in fact if we grasp something of the height and depth of God’s love in Christ we’ll be back for more first chance we get. So pray that as God’s people we may be the church he calls us to be, as Paul prayed for the Ephesians.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16–19).