”Celebrating the Church”
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The disciples of the Early Church were devoted to what would become The Way, the church of Jesus. Believers would gather together and everything would be held in common. They met in temple courts and ate together in their homes as they learned and listened from the disciples of Jesus about what Jesus taught and did during the time he lived on earth.
Glenwood United Church celebrates its anniversary at different times in the spring depending upon scheduling of a Guest Speaker and other activities of the church.
This year we are recognizing the church’s 58th anniversary as a community of faith in South Windsor. Last week we shared with our friends from the Windsor Korean First Presbyterian Church in their church’s celebration of their 5th anniversary which was an enjoyable day of food, friendship and laughter. But it is when we focus on why the church exists that we truly find meaning in these celebrations. If it were not for Jesus teachings and death and resurrection there would not be a church- a place of gathering to learn and share and become knowledgeable about and in Jesus.
Yet we know that many churches today are closing, the faithful of many years are growing older and dying and younger families just don’t seem to be wanting or seeing the need for the church community. But when people do come to a church and become a part of the church family they realize how important this community of believers is to them and how important it is to learn about Jesus.
We are a consumer society which focuses on individual needs and wants and how to obtain these. But the church is different because individual needs are not what we try to fulfill. What we are trying to fulfill is the need to be a person- that is making human connections. Why is it important to see certain individuals each week? Because through their relationship with Jesus you may learn and understand who Jesus is for you as a person. And this understanding leads to a deeper relationship with God as the Spirits dwells within. It is also important because there are people who are alone- some do not come in contact with others unless they come to church. Some people do not receive a hug from week to week or any other type of affirmation and acknowledgement because they are alone. And some people just need to know that others care.
The church is a gift from and to God. When people share together in faith it is an opportunity to grow in faith and in devotion to Christ. The question is are we really wanting this or just seeking what “I” can get from the church. This question alone leads us to what it means to be a part of the church family. Are you celebrating the church in your life? How do you know?
Wonderful God we pray for your church around the world where brothers and sisters in Jesus are working to bring about peace and hope and where love is being shared in devotion to Christ. We ask O God that you would help us discern the role the church family plays in our lives and help us to know that we are important members of a family of faithful people. Enable us to share and show this love. We ask in Jesus name. Amen.
The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord. Another important part of the church’s foundation are faithful people who will help us as we live our daily lives filled with celebrations and changing moments of grace. What role does the church play for you, if any? Are you seeking your own agendas/ wants/ relevance or are you there to grow with God’s Spirit as a person looking for meaning and relationships with others.
Is it a ‘me’ focused placed or a ‘we’ centred place to be. This is the primary concern for man of our churches; but somehow we tend to forget it. We are called to love others in Jesus name. What do you think about this individualist vs person focus?