Skip to content

What and Where is Church?

This image has been shared on various social media gently and was sent to us very tongue-in-cheek, but it made us think. The enemy is indeed very pleased with himself for closing all the established Church gatherings. He hopes that will be enough to stop the Church having an impact and would happily let us go along with that idea. 

At Easter Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu was interviewed by the BBC. They stated that surely with the social distancing restrictions Christians wouldn’t be able to celebrate Easter this year. Similarly to the enemy, the BBC thought that without church buildings being open or people being able to gather en-masse we wouldn’t be able to praise God or celebrate his triumphant defeat of death and hell. With Pentecost just under 4 weeks away (31st May) we have the challenge again of working out how do we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit without our usual gatherings being available to us? 

As always…God has an answer. Like this image says, God has opened a ‘church’ in every home. When the BBC said Easter couldn’t be celebrated this year Archbishop Sentamu said, when the risen Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection where was it? First he appeared to Mary in the garden by the tomb, then he appeared to two friends walking on the road to Emmaus, then he appeared in an upper room in someone’s home. Archbishop Sentamu was suggesting that the Church of Christ wasn’t started in established religious buildings but in gardens, on the road and in homes. He encouraged Christians to meet and share Easter in their homes and in their localities without a church building or service. With Pentecost sometimes being referred to as the birthday of the Church how can we celebrate that without being able to go to church or gather as a church?!

Maybe we need to explore what church is. The Greek word used in the New Testament for Church is ekklesia which means called out, assembly or community. When Jesus first gathered the disciples so he could send them out, he was on a hillside by the Sea of Galilee (Mark 3:14). Maybe that was when the church started? A group of ordinary people assembled on a hillside with a willingness to obey Jesus were called out and sent with Jesus’ anointing to go and do the things he did. If that is the definition of church then God in this picture is correct, but he doesn’t mean in nuclear families or via zoom!

There is church in every home, every garden, every road and every hillside where ordinary people are obedient to Jesus and are called out to be his body together, even if together means staying 2 meters apart right now!  

error: Content is protected !!