EVERYONE, everything, every day: in Acts 2:42-47 — a section of Scripture every pastor and many ardent Christians know intimately — the local church is described. It is a reality in the First Century, yet it is a vision for the church today.
We know we have church right for God when everyone is filled with awe at what God is doing, everything is passionately equal and there are more people giving than there are taking, and when every day there is the meeting of people with glad and grateful hearts.
Yes, it’s a miracle. Only God could do such a thing. Only God could sustain such a thing.
Yet, it’s something we are to be submitted to. As Christians we are to love the sanctity of Christ’s church — it’s not the pastor’s, but Christ’s. It exists for others. It exists to be given away. The church is nothing if it loses its vision for the lost. And the church is never nothing so far as the Lord is concerned — for the fields are white! There are just so many needs out there in our community.
The church is the miracle of God when it gets beyond unloving things like ‘I won him for Christ’ without sincerely desiring to be his friend, first and foremost.
The church is a miracle when it does the simple things of love that the Good Samaritan did, and without wanting an accolade for it. The most loving things are done in secret. The more we pass on invisibly into the night, the more that lost soul is convicted to commit to this pay-it-forward movement for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The church exists for the Kingdom. The church has no other role. It exists to make Jesus Christ known, both to people who don’t know him and to those who do.
To make Jesus Christ known is to live a life of love.
The miracle that is the local church is that it is God’s provision in every need. It is God’s warm hug for the sorrowful. It is God’s ear for the broken. It is God’s food for the hungry; water for the thirsty. It is God’s feet for the infirmed. It is God’s voice of encouragement for the disheartened. It is God’s unrivalled empathy and unconditional acceptance for the guilty and the ashamed. It is God’s helping hand for the prostrate. It is God’s heart for the lost. It is God’s soul for bringing a perfect eternity to a broken earth.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.