What does it mean to be the church?
What does being the church mean to others?
The church, ecclesia the called out ones. Yes, we are called out, but then we are sent into the world. The church is called to be a people on the move. The church is all about coming and going. We cannot be the church unless both are happening simultaneously.
The scripture lesson.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but
if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is
no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. [ESV]
We live in a very dark world, a scary place. In the spiritual world most people like the dark. It keeps sin and ugliness hidden. Since there is darkness all around it gets easier and easier to hide in the darkness..
Darkness is real. Abuse of all sorts, neglect, drugs, pornography, but our eyes adjust to the darkness. We avoid thinking about t because it is discouraging.
We can forgive the child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light.
Darkness after a while feels like a friend. It is a powerful dominion that hangs over us.
Christ commissioned us to be the salt and the light. We live in a world of darkness. Christ sends us to be the light. Light is energy. We are here to transfer energy to the world so those in the world can feel the love of Christ beckoning to them.
In this world Hope is not a natural commodity.
How we face situations is a huge example of whether we live in darkness or in light.
Hope may not bring sense to a situation but it brings peace.
Compassion is a supernatural concern for others. Doing for someone else, not for self, is bringing light to darkness.
Light is Hope, Compassion, Peace.
Joy is really contagious or really annoying.
The joy of the Lord is our strength, a supernatural joy not based on circumstances.
Where do we start? If you have personal contacts in this world you are already there.
Christ has put you where you are. Wherever you are you are there to be salt and light to the world.
Invest and invite.
First you invest in others by showing the light of Christ in your life, by doing for them, being there for them. Then you invite them. When you have invested in them they will be receptive to the invitation. The invitation is
"Come, be the church with me."
Who am I investing in as the light of Christ? In whom have I already invested so that I can invite them to be the church with me?
Once people catch a glimpse of the light they will know that's where they should be.
Pastor Johnnie Blair