The church is not a building
God through his provision has given us a wonderful, beautiful building where we normally would meet to worship Him and to study His word. In this difficult time, we are reminded however that our building is not our identity.. Jesus Christ is our identity. In Matthew 16:18 he tells Peter that “on this rock I will build my church”. It is significant that the church is built on a person – Jesus Christ, and that his church will be his people. In fact, the greek word used eccelisa/ekklesia means “to call out”, and refers to the people who are called out all of mankind to be the faithful believers and followers of Jesus Christ.
How can you be the church?
First and foremost.. be faithful to Jesus Christ. When asked what the greatest commandment was, He replied “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”.
How do you do this?
In order to follow His commandments, you have to know what they are. You learn this by reading and studying his word.
While this list that follows does not represent everything Jesus taught, here are some key commandments to get you started:
John 13:34; John 15:12; John 15:17 “love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another”
Matthew 6:33 Seek God’s Kingdom
Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven
Matthew 6:5-6 Pray to the father, in secret, and from your heart.
Be the church in your home and family
Maintain your own study time and prayer life
Lead Bible study and prayer time with your family
Show your children how to live a righteous lifestyle
Check on extended family members, and help them meet both their spiritual and material needs in this time of crisis
Be the church in your neighborhood and workplace
This is a scary and confusing time for everyone. Many people who had no interest in God and spiritual matters, are now in a place where they may be receptive to hearing God’s word. But just telling them isn’t enough. They have to see the work of salvation in your life: how you live and behave in this time of trial is a direct testimony of your faith.
– Be ready to share the good news of God’s salvation with your neighbors and coworkers. That means you need to prepare. Spend some time getting ready for that conversation. And when the time comes, let the Holy Spirit guide your conversation.
– Show love toward your neighbor. Check on your neighbors.. How are they coping with this difficult time. Are they lacking something that maybe you can provide?
Don’t forsake the assembly
So here is our challenge for today. Hebrews 10:25 says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Our current quarantine prevents us from assembling together at the church building, as we are accustomed to. That does not mean that we stop meeting altogether though. We have been blessed with new technologies that allow us to assemble together and communicate in ways that the Apostles could not even imagine.
Telephones, facebook, email, and video streaming allow us to continue to encourage and exhort one another. But it takes a commitment on your part to participate. Make sure you reach out to others in our church body to find out how they are faring and to encourage them.
Continue to observe the Lord’s Day
Again, this takes commitment on your part. Here is how you can continue to observe the Lord’s day while we are unable to assemble together at the church building:
1. Set aside time. Don’t get out of the routine. Determine that you are going to start “church” at home at a specific given time.
2. Sing songs and hymns together. Don’t have a piano? Thats ok, there are lots of worship songs available on youtube. Bring one up and sing along. If you have a hymnal on hand, sing a song acapella.
3. Read from the scriptures. Do a bible study.
4. Explore online resources – We are offering livestream video for both Sunday Schools, and for the Pastor’s sermon. Join us online.
5. Consider dressing for church.. yes you could do church in your pajamas, but will you be in the right mindset. You may not have to wear a suit and tie, but you can still dress as if you were going to a church gathering.