June 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends in Christ,

What does it mean to be the church?  Why does God want the church to exist?  What does God want to accomplish through Christ’s holy church?  Too often our vision of the church is too small.  We think of it as a building on the corner or as a place where we gather on Sunday morning.  The church is intended by God to be so much more.

Recently, the Friday Bible Study has reflected on what it means to be the church.  We considered the nature of the church in the light of Acts 1 & 2, the stories of the Ascension and the day of Pentecost.  From our study we generated the following reflections on what it means to be the church.

The church is:
1. People who love God.
2. People empowered by the Holy Spirit.
3. Followers of Jesus Christ, listening to and fulfilling his commands.
4. People who are witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
5. A body that embraces people of all races, nations, tongues, backgrounds and ages.
6. A people awaiting Christ’s coming again.
7. People who wait on the Lord.
8. A people of prayer.
9. A community of people united in Christ.
10. A community with order and hierarchy authorized and empowered by God to continue Jesus’ work.
11. A people empowered and called to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to the world.
12. A people whom God works through in wonderful and miraculous ways.
13. A people who are in awe of God.
14. A people sometimes rejected by the world, as Jesus was.
15. A people who declare that Jesus, who was crucified and rose from the dead, is Lord and Messiah.
16. A forgiven and restored people who have repented and turned to the Lord.
17. An expression of the fulfillment of God’s covenant.
18. A people who believe in the providence of God.
19. A people baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, forgiven of their sins, and blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
20. A community used by God to offer salvation from worldly corruption.
21. A people devoted to the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers.
22. A people who share their resources and support one another in time of need.
23. A people who worship together, and share bread together with glad and generous hearts, full of praise for God and drawing others to Christ.
24. A growing community as the Lord adds to its number daily people who are being saved.

God has big plans for Christ’s church.  Just a quick read of the Acts of the Apostles chapters 1 & 2 makes this clear.  Is your vision of the church too small?  Is your vision of the church grand and glorious?  God has great expectations of his church.  Do we?  On May 27 we celebrated the exciting Christian festival of Pentecost, the day on which the Holy Spirit came with power upon Jesus’ disciples.  May we, as Christ’s church, have great expectations and grand visions of what God can do in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.   

Peace,                                                                                                Rev. Peggy Ann Sauerhoff