November 12th – His Church



These next few days we will be thinking about the essential church of Jesus. I must stress that I do not mean that private religious club, as portrayed in the media, so self-satisfied, self-saving and institutional. I mean the followers of Jesus: that ragged rebel army called to go out to do battle against our world’s cultural idols – our greed and grab, our way of death with which we have infected God’s world. It is the Jesus followers who are entrusted to declare the great good news in the name of a people-friendly God, that no one need stay the way he is.
However, that is not the church the world sees, so it’s important we give a little time today, and in the next few days, to glance at the church as God intends it to be. In this regard, let me make a confession to you? As a young man, for a number of years, I believed that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the only saviour of the world. Well as far as I could see, there was no competition for that place. No one, before or since, had lived like that, nor had spoken like that. If God had showed himself to us, then that must be who he’d be like. My problem was not believing in Jesus, but in accepting the church. To me it had all got too far away from the profound simplicity and beauty of its founder. It had solidified into a class-structured community of privilege, a hair-splitting crowd of religious arguers, or a bleating herd of parsons who only did a little work on one of the 7 days of the week.
I had yet to learn from experience that the church of Jesus was young men out on the streets courageously preaching Christ. It was on every battlefield seeking to help and not harm injured people: it was in every slum slaving away for the under-privileged, in every country on earth eagerly seeking to lift the sodden mass of hopelessly poor to educate the young and bring healing and health where only misery had ruled. I knew nothing of this church. What I saw through my own prejudiced blindfolds, was a figment of my social environment. I had yet to learn something of what the Bible says about the real church of Jesus being made of people, not steeple: people who are sinners, called into daring life out of ’safe’ death, accepted, welcomed, forgiven, equipped by the Spirit to be, together, the Jesus people. I had never heard this: Ephesians 2: 19-20
You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
A Prayer:
Lord, what a wondrous privilege it is that such as we become children of God: part of your family. I pray for my brothers and sisters at work in the world for Jesus.
Now read Jude.

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Thought 4 The Day

When Jesus says, “It is the pure in heart who see God” do not say, “Then that lets me out” — Just admit you are bankrupt.

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