What is the Church? - There is hope for the church-You are the church

Luke 11:37-39

37 After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee asked Jesus to eat with him. So He went and took a place at the table.

38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash His hands first before the meal.

39 The Lord said to him, “The washing you Pharisees do is like cleaning only the outside of a cup or a dish. But what is inside you? You want only to cheat and hurt people.

Over the last few weeks, we have been reminded that we need to wash our hands often. We need to maintain social distance. We need to be careful and stay home if we are sick. There are many videos online teaching us the right way to wash our hands. But washing our hands is neither the beginning nor the ending of the process. There are three things that we are being told observe:-

  • Wash our hands, often.
  • Practice Social Distancing.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

I would like to address them in the context of what Jesus had to say, because I think that these things are important.

1. First of all, washing hands.

Jesus wasn’t opposed to washing your hands before you eat. He was opposed to worrying more about what was on the outside than what was on the inside. He said that what comes out of a person shows what is inside.

In relation to going to congregate in a church building or other places of worship people are used to, the building is not the purpose of worship but the motif behind the meeting matters. The building is the outer shell but the real building for worship is in your heart. The worship is at heart and we worship God with our hearts. Make sure you clean your heart to be ready to meet with God. We can wash our hands constantly, and we can avoid getting sick as a result. But Jesus would ask us if we were already sick inside before we washed our hands.

There are many things that will cause our hearts to be unhealthy. But let’s consider the two commandments that Jesus called us to follow. Love the Lord God with all our hearts, soul, and might, and Love our neighbour as ourselves. This will make the church whether is a building or online as a mobile church.

2. The second thing that we are being told is about social distancing.

For weeks, we have seen a great deal about social distancing being emphasized around the world. We have observed events cancelled. We have seen schools closed. We have seen our society turned upside down due to corona virus

We can respond to this emergency in different ways. We can criticize others for how they respond, Like the Pharisees, we can be critical. Or we can act like Jesus, opening our hearts and loving others.

We can pray for all of those who are impacted by the virus. We can also pray for all the medical care workers. Let the church show the world what it means to be the church through their acts of kindness and mercy. Christians are the church and not the buildings.

Congregations can provide food to schoolchildren, assisting homeless people, and coordinating with local relief agencies however let’s emphasize safety at every step, following advice about social distancing and reducing exposure.

In light of the corona virus pandemic, creativity is necessary for some outreach efforts to reach to our neighbours and share the love of Christ. Christians we are the church and not the buildings.

Loneliness and anxiety are side effects of virus-induced quarantines which impose challenges for individuals who are accustomed to gathering regularly as the body of Christ. “It’s hard for people in churches, because you go to church for fellowship too. “We’re friendly, we love each other and socialise which is not going to happen when we have church online.”

3. Finally,  we are told to stay home when we are sick.

This is important. We need to do this because loving our neighbour does not include giving them viruses. You might not be feeling that bad, but all of us need to protect one another.

“If you are a Christian, if you’re part of this unshakable kingdom, I want you to give thanks that this pandemic does not own you because God owns you,”  “Don’t be a casual Christian. This is a time for full-time Christians, not part-time saints.”