Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Once again he asks, What is the church?
In Who Can You Trust? Howard Butt wrestles with the same question. He writes,
We tend to think of the church in its institutional forms, of its buildings and organizations, of "the church gathered." What we experience far more, though, is "the church scattered"-out, seven days a week, in all the homes, restaurants, shops, schools, offices, and structures of our ordinary lives.
I love that.
I was talking with a friend of mine about the Greek work ekklesia that is often translated as "church." Sometimes "assembly." It gets even more complicated if you start reading the Septuigint. (Which I can't read.) So I look to commentaries written by men smarter than me.
According to Vine's Expository Dictionary ekklesia literally means "those called and gathered together." It was a political word from Greek society that described gatherings of people who met to discuss affairs of state.
How then can we talk about a gathered group scattered? Because we are gathered by our faith. We are gathered together by God himself, called out to a Kingdom not bound by location, geography, or even time.
I attend First Baptist Church Kerrville. So does C. S. Lewis. So does Johann Sebastian Bach. So does St. Augustine. So does Jesus Christ.
I also attend Oakhills Church in San Antonio. And Canterbury Cathedral. And the church as Colosse.
We meet every moment to worship God.
Every moment we are surrounded by this great cloud of saints.
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