Good day friends! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!
I pray your Easter was filled with the joy of all that Christ’s resurrection means to those who believe. Throughout April, restrictions have been lifted and things are getting back to a new normal. As I have watched things open up, it has become painfully clear how hurting our churches are and how exhausted those who have served the church throughout the pandemic are. Let’s top up our coffees and I will share what’s on my heart and my prayer for you, me, all of God’s people, and His Church.
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:18-27
Are you starting to fill your time with those activities you have been missing throughout the pandemic? Visiting friends? Having gatherings with family and extended family? Taking vacations? It feels so good to be able to start doing all those things that we have been missing for the past two plus years! However, in all your planning to fill your time, where does your church fit in?
I’m not talking about just attending worship service once a week, as this should be the greatest priority to the person who believes in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. For how can a part of the body sever itself from the whole body, if in fact they are a part of that body? And no matter where you are at, if you believe that Jesus is your Lord and that through his death and resurrection he opened the door to eternity by paying the debt your sins deserved, then you are an important part of his body. So if you haven’t started getting back into the habit of worshiping regularly, I beg you to start doing so, for your sake and the sake of the rest of the body – your brothers and sisters in Christ. Or if you don’t have a church home, but you say you are a believer in Christ, then you truly need to seek a Christian church home, because a relationship with Christ is not an individual relationship of itself, but exists fully in relationship with God’s people. And if after reading this you have an issue with what I have said, your issue is not with me but between you and the Lord. Take your issue to him and let him answer you.
No, when I ask what you’re filling your time with, I’m talking about the importance of living in the grace and purpose that God, through Christ, has called you. His priority for you in this world is not that you have a nice comfortable life. No, he has blessed you with gifts and abilities for which he desires you to use them to serve him and his body – the church- and, together, sharing Christ with the world. In Christ, you are not your own person. You were bought with a price and have been made new to use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Yes, each and every one of us is called to serve the church, with the gifts, talents, abilities and, ultimately, our time with which we have been blessed. If the people of the church do not look after the needs of the church, who will? The world won’t. It is up to you and me. Therefore, as you start filling up your time with activities, consider the needs of your church. Christ has called you to take hold of the responsibilities that he has blessed you with and use them for the purpose they were bestowed. It is time to assist those who were dedicated to fulfilling the needs of the church throughout the pandemic. Personally, I know the people in my own congregation that have kept the services and church building operating and meeting pandemic requirements are exhausted. They need a break. They need help. Therefore, prayerfully ask the Lord how he desires to use you within his church, and be willing to act on it when he answers … and he will answer. If every follower in Christ honestly desired to fulfill one need within the church, I am convinced our broken, diminishing churches would experience a revitalization like never before seen since the early church. And each serving member – you and me – will experience joy beyond any vacation we could ever plan or the grandest party we could ever attend. So, let’s get back to what we have been missing and is our life’s purpose in Christ. This is my post-pandemic prayer for Christ’s church, and all Christians.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, you are the head and the whole church is your body; you are the vine and we are the branches; you are the Groom and we are your bride. My life with you is totally integrated with all your people. You instituted the church of which I am automatically a member by my union with you. As things start opening up again and as I start filling my time, please guide me to a need in my church which I am able to meet through the gifts, talents, and abilities with which you have blessed me. Help me joyfully give of my time to serve you. In your name alone I pray. AMEN!