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Friday, March 28, 2014

I Love My Church Part 5

This is based on an article from Hal Seed (accessed here on February 13, 2014).

Hal Seed writes, “A quick read of the book of Acts or the letters in Revelation proves that Jesus loves his church. He died for it, prays for it, lives for it and is going to return for it.

[But] let’s be honest: It’s not easy to love the church. It’s easy to love Jesus. Loving His bride is another story. Churches are filled with frail and fault-riddled people. Every church has a unique personality. All are loved by Jesus, but not all are loved in equal measure by each of His people.”

I agree, loving Jesus is so much easier than loving His bride, the Church. But just like the love of a spouse in marriage, love of the church is more a choice than a feeling.

Based on Hall Seed’s ten reasons that he loves his church, I have ten reasons that I choose to love Jesus’ bride, the Church. They are in no particular order – this is not a ranked list. This week, reason number five:

5. Diverse.

The first members of the Holy Christian Church were Jews from Galilee and Judea. But that quickly changed after the Holy Spirit came on them 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus.

Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,  both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians. (Acts 2:9-11a)

Within 100 years, there were hundreds of thousands of Christians who were native to Europe, Africa, Asia, and India. Today there are billions of Christians who are natives of every country on the planet.

But that’s just one aspect of the diversity of the Christian Church.

There are Christians who are poor, lower middle class, upper middle class, and “rich.” There are Christians who are homeless, fatherless, widows, orphans, and also come from “nuclear” or “traditional” families (one mom, one dad). There are Christians who are infants, toddlers, children, teenagers, young adults, middle aged, and seasoned citizens.

However, it has been said that Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America. There is the tendency for people to gather together with people who are most like them, and the Church is susceptible to that. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Holy Christian Church is diverse!

We may have to overcome that tendency, but it is possible to overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit working through Word and Sacrament.

I love my Church (see here for what I mean by “Church”). And one of reasons why is because she is diverse. Everyone is welcomed at my Church. No matter what country, economic status, or anything else, everyone is welcomed.

Because we all have two things in common.

1.  We’re all sinners in need of a Savior.
2. We all have the same Savior – Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

In the Holy Christian Church everyone hears of the need for a Savior and how God met that need.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, emphasis added).

“For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God” (Romans 6:10, emphasis added).

Next time, the entrepreneurial reason.

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