My current church, Sandals Church, is the only place I have experienced the overwhelming joys and occasional pains of being truly connected and invested in a body of Christ-seeking believers. I can truly say Sandals is my family. Heck, it is hard to be away from our church and small group even for a vacation. Christ’s Church, as beaten, battered, and neglected as it is… is so beautiful and worth the investment. Not to mention… Christ commanded us to be a part of a local Body. If you truly believe in Christ’s resurrection, how could you NOT want to be deeply connected and committed to a Body of believers with your time and money?
Nonetheless, in reference to the Church and His being reconciled with Christ in Heaven, Pastor Charles referenced the following poem that I thought was very powerfully thought-provoking and poignant…
I’ve been a dead weight many years
Around the church’s neck;
I’ve let the others carry me
And always pay the check.
I’ve had my name upon the rolls
For years and years gone by;
I’ve criticized and grumbled too,
Nothing could satisfy.
I’ve been a dead weight long enough
Upon the church’s back;
Beginning now, I’m going to take
A wholly different track.
I’m going to pray and pay and work
And carry loads instead;
And not have others carry me
Like people do the dead.
— Author Unknown
Do you relate with this poem? If so, awesome… awareness is the first step. Now get off your keister, brush off any frustration, anxiety, insecurity, anger, apprehension dust off your boots… and invest in your local church! I guarantee you will encounter other sinful and broken people and may get rubbed the wrong way. That’s OK… get over yourself a bit.
Christ loves the Church. Christ died for the Church. The Church is God’s primary agent for making Christ’s name known among the nations. Invest your God-provided time, treasure, and talent into your church, its people, its community, and its mission… for the glory and name of Jesus.
1After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3Once more they cried out,
“Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”
6Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
“Hallelujah!For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
9And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”10Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.