Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Playing Church"

Revelation 21.2a, 22-23 NIV

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God… I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”
In the “new Jerusalem” there will be no need for a church building. “The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb [Jesus] are its temple.”

A garage is useful for storage and its primary purpose of parking a car. Yet some garages are so full of stored clutter, the original purpose of automobile storage has been long forsaken. There’s no room for a car in that garage. Other garages are so sparkling clean you could eat off the painted and polished concrete floor. No place for a dirty old vehicle in that pristine environment. Either way, the car is left out in the cold.

Going to church can easily become doing church, or even playing church. Religious activities can actually move us away from the original design of church. Like a garage without a car, there are churches devoid of Jesus. Too much clutter from lifeless committee meetings, silly strategy sessions, or meaningless liturgy to “make room” for a bonafide encounter with the living God. Some church buildings are way too nice to mess up with a dirty cross-section of sinful humanity. (According to the historic record in Luke 2.7, making room for Jesus has been a problem since the very first Christmas day.)

In “the new Jerusalem” there will be no church building. Jesus is the temple. If you don’t want Jesus, you don’t get church. Going to church in “the Holy City” of heaven will mean an actual encounter with “the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.” There’ll be no playing church there.

The beautiful painting at the top of this post is entitled "Here's the Church" by Kathy Andrews Fincher whose wonderfully inspirational paintings of children, landscapes, and still life may be viewed and purchased at Kathy very kindly gave me permission to place her painting on this post.

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