A number of people have reminded us in these days the church is not a building.
The church is people. Not bricks and mortar, but flesh and blood, living people. So what has happened to the church? Well, what has happened to the people? That’s what’s happened to the church.
Some people want to plant a new church. They want to begin again with something that they say is more incarnational. I have news for them: They do not need to begin again in order to make the church more incarnational. The church is already as incarnational as it can ever be. The church is totally incarnational. Wherever her people are – at work, at school, in lockdown at home, as long as they are in their bodies – there is the church. Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Romans 12:1)
Paul pleads with them to give their bodies to God; what could be more incarnational? We are to give our bodies to God:
- Fit or unfit
- Overweight or malnourished (or anything in between)
- Healthy or sick
- Old or young
- Male or female
- Saint or sinner
- Damaged or all intact
- Skin colour is no barrier
- Tall or short
- Despised or admired
Whatever the shape or state of our bodies, giving them to God is the way to go. Only two requirements:
- They need to be living
- They need to be holy
Why does Paul want us to do this? Did you see it there: ‘This is truly the way to worship God?’ There are those who attend church regularly, but maybe do not worship. Then there are those who rarely darken the church doors, but continuously worship.
This interruption to our way of life need not disrupt our connection with God when we understand that all of life is worship.