Lent – Day 32: Thursday, 25 March
1 Corinthians 13:12-14 (again)
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 And so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
“Why can’t we all be one?”, comes the loud cry, but our quiet hope is that they’ll join my denomination. But it’s Jesus’ church and this is what he says about it.
We may be lulled into inaction if we think that all responsibility is vested in the leaders of our denomination. The position of Archbishop of Canterbury has a place in our nation as leader of the established Church of England. He (one day we might have a woman in that role) leads what some would describe as the most disparate group of churches and theologies, from Evangelical to High Church, from conservative to liberal, from pioneering to traditionalist. It holds believers and agnostics. How do you speak out on issues when your words may be are likely to upset someone in your church?! The Catholic Church has problems of its own, born of secrecy, improper protection of the priesthood, and power.
It’s up to the local church to speak truth to its neighbourhood by the way it lives in the truth of the Gospel. The Gospel message is the same, unchanging truth of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.
From time to time some church members may become dissatisfied with the way their church is moving, or that it is not moving at all! I cannot advise people who simply desire a better church to go looking up TripAdvisor reviews or the like. The Church does not have a Consumer’s Charter. Unless God is undeniably calling you out of a church for higher service elsewhere, you should stay put, pray harder and love more. You may be what your Church needs to grow and disciple its members and leaders. Church-hopping is not an option for God’s people.
How can I make a difference in my church?
How can neighbouring churches work together?
Father God, by your Holy Spirit enable my congregation to be Christ to this world. If we have flagged in our purpose, please, Holy Spirit, enable and inflame us once again with the commission to demonstrate the Kingdom both through our common life, and among those in our family, work and leisure. Amen.