In a little while, I’ll be heading off to meet with fellow Christians for worship, Bible study, an encouraging message from God’s word, and fellowship. I’ve already enjoyed a quality time of personal devotions that I call “coffee with the Lord” – a time I set aside daily for Bible reading, reflection, prayer and worship. As important as that “personal time” is, however, it is no substitute for what I gain from the corporate experience of gathering with fellow Christians each week – Christians call it “church!”
From a Biblical perspective, “church” is NEVER a building – it is ALWAYS the corporate experience of gathering with fellow Christians – the “church” is about people, not buildings! Some will gather on this “Lord’s Day” in various “houses of worship” (some very nice and some very modest) – some will not gather in a formal “house of worship” at all, but in private homes (“house churches”) – for others it may be a garage, a café, or a public building of some sort where they meet. But Christ has promised, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my Name, there am I among them!” (Matthew 18:20) That’s what makes it “church!”
This morning, while I was having “coffee with the Lord” and preparing my heart for “church” (which comes later) I read a wonderful verse in the little epistle, Philemon, in my Bible. It was so rich with significance I looked it up in the Good News Bible which I believe captures it implications:
“My prayer is that our fellowship with you as believers will bring about a deeper understanding of every blessing which we have in our life in union with Christ.” (Philemon 6 GNB)
That was Apostle Paul’s prayer and expectation for “church” – And I made it my prayer and expectation as well this Sunday morning!