March 3, 2014

Being the Church

In Beyond Belief, Elaine Pagels tells of learning that her two-and-a-half-year-old son had a life-threatening medical condition.  Although she hadn't attended church for a long time, she stepped inside a church vestibule to warm up and was startled by sounds of worship - the soaring harmonies of the choir, the clergyperson's clear resonant prayer.  Pagels said to herself, "Here is a family that knows how to face death."

And that is why I will not give up on any church that truly wants to be the church.  Being the church is not dependent on any church tradition or size.  It doesn't take a large church to sing and pray and be the kind of church family that knows how to face death.  It only takes a church willing to be like Jesus and take his teachings seriously in the age in which we live.

There are no small churches someone once said, only churches still growing to become all God is calling them to be.

In the March 5 issue of Christian Century, editor John M. Buchanan put forth this proposal:

"...let's call a moratorium on counting members.
Let's consider that we are called to witness to
God's love in Jesus Christ and do everything we
can to be Christ's body in the world,
to do what we believe he would be doing
and is doing through us."