I love the Church! I guess that is a good thing since I am a pastor! The church for me is the most special place that I can spend my time. Here are the reasons I fell in love with the church and the benefits it offers to me.
First, I learned quickly that there was nothing better than being with other believers. There is a special connection and bond that draws believers together. This bond can only be achieved through the work of the Holy Spirit! Second, it is the place where I receive God’s mercy and grace. The sacraments, especially the Holy Bread and Wine, are the only means in which, God’s amazing grace can be received! Thirdly, the church is a place of worship! As believers, we can never give our Lord enough praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done for us! There is joy and peace in worship that passes my all my understanding.
In reading Mark 4:26-34, I was struck by something I had never really noticed before. Jesus was talking to the people in parables. If you think about it, parables are genius. For example, each person who reads and hear the parable can glean different things and the parable can speak to each of us in different ways. Jesus left plenty of room for interpretation and different perspectives! I really believe that if Jesus spoke about everything directly, you and I would not be able to bear it all.
However, in Mark 4:34, Jesus says, “…He did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to His disciples (NRSV).” As I prepare my Sunday sermon, this is what I do…I try to explain everything to my disciples! The church is where we not only, gather as believers in Christ, receive the sacraments of grace and mercy, and give thanks and praise for all Jesus has done for us, but also, where we come to learn, understand, and hear God’s Word for God’s people! Jesus wanted His disciples to believe, hear the Gospel, and then go out into the world and share the Gospel with others! It is ‘The Church’ that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, giving us the ability to live out our purpose and mission for Christ!
I love the Church! And, I want you to love the Church! Experience God’s Amazing Grace and Love that God offers to all people! If you are not a member of a church, I hope you find one! It is a journey of a lifetime!