“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:18-23
It was a strange Sunday, wasn’t it? The halls at church were quiet, and only a few people gathered in Sunday school classes. The sanctuary was silent. Leading up to this Sunday, friends expressed various emotions about church being closed from relief to concern or anger. Even though no one said it to me, I imagine some secretly welcomed a day to sleep in and rest. (We all need those days from time to time!)
Although it’s great that technology enabled us to watch the sermon live today, I have to admit: it just isn’t the same. And the thought of possibly moving Sunday school to phone or video conferencing really isn’t super appealing. If it was, I guess we’d be doing it that way already. The reality is that we crave community – we need each other. Watching the sermon online makes us feel like spectators, and most of us don’t like it. But I wonder, have we actually been spectators or consumers at church and never noticed? What is church after all? Is church a building? The place we go on Sunday to catch up with friends, network, help our kids become better people? Watch a sermon? Study the Bible? “Get fed”?
This crisis has created an opportunity to dig in to the Bible to discover what God intended when He created church, and then obey what it says. My prayer is that God transforms us to be what He had in mind when He created the church.
We have a choice to make. We can choose to remain spectators – just move our location from in person to online. Like watching the football game on TV instead of sitting in the stands. OR we can BE THE CHURCH. I urge you to study these passages in the Bible over the next several days. (Some are long because it is important to understand the context.) Pray that God will give you insight and understanding to what they mean and what you should do about it. Ask yourself the questions that follow about each passage.
1 Corinthians 12-13
What does this passage tell me about God?
What does this passage tell me about myself and others?
The Bible often talks about the church as a body. What do these passages teach about the church? How can I apply this teaching to my life?
After reading all the passages:
Every part of the body has a purpose. What is yours for this specific season? Pray that God would show you what He wants you to do. What purposes do sermons and group Bible Studies have? Are you applying what you learn in them so you are equipped to do the work God has for you? What is your attitude as a member of the body? What is the importance of love?