the porch a cool breeze rustled the leaves in the trees, the birds chirped, the
squirrels scampered, and the words I had just read seemed to come alive. It is my intention to spend time every
morning reading the Word and praying. My
front porch is one of the most serene places for communing with the
Father. As a Pastor I have encouraged
congregants to take time during the day to cultivate this relationship because
in the depth of God’s Word and in prayer we come face to face with the God who
has saved us.
the example of this devotion.
withdrew to the mountains, spent hours in prayer, took his disciples away on
retreats, and refreshed himself in the midst of a demanding ministry.
His declaration as being one with the Father
was lived out in his constant commitment to living in union with Him.
However, what we see as a singular
relationship between the father and son was actually a triune experience between
father, son, and spirit.
It is this triune
relationship that makes sense of Jesus’ statement to his disciples, “For where
two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst”
Too often I
have heard the statement, “I don’t need the church to be a Christian.”
However, the Church is Christians, not
individually but collectively, and the expression of Christ’s presence is when
two or more of us are gathered together.
Yes, we are individually responsible to live out our walk with Christ,
but we cannot live out its reality without other people.
We can’t love one another, encourage one
another, bear with one another, forgive one another, or pray for one another
unless we are gathered together.
minimum is two and when they meet, Christ is in their midst and the triune
nature of the relationship is complete, and when others are added to the mix
the depth and complexity of the community grows.
I have been
to churches where the pastor prays and invites the Holy Spirit to meet them,
but the reality is that the Spirit is already there because they had gathered
in His name. When
we gather to worship He is there, when we gather to serve He is there, when we
gather to reach the lost He is there! I
might not feel or sense him, but that is an issue of my faith, not the reality
of His presence.
The Church is called to be the expression of Christ’s
presence, not individually but corporately, when two or three are gathered in
His name. “To the church of God which is
at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by
calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
their Lord and ours.” 1Cor. 1:2
Living in community is never easy, in fact is down right
hard. But what do Christians of
different ethic, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds have in common? They have the spirit of Christ in their
midst. It takes some adjustment to
worship with person who are not like me, whose music is different, whose
language is strange, whose customs are foreign, but all that disappears when
the reality of God’s presence is understood.
I Love The Church because in its midst the presence of Christ dwells
when it is gathered in His name. I’m
just saying… (Continued).