I awoke with a serious sinus headache this morning which is just now easing. Not sure what brought that on, but my entire face felt as if someone had slugged me with a baseball bat.But I have sat here watching the not so stray cats finish off the food I put out this morning. I’m enjoying the fact that having training collars on both dogs now have reduced barking by ninety percent or above, making it much quieter. Outside it is somewhat overcast, I do hope we get some rain as that would hopefully settle some of this dust and pollen which is probably what brought on the headache. Down the hillside behind the house a bird is calling out loudly. Its a glorious Sunday morning even as it nears the noon hour.
Last night as my exhausted body fell into bed, I had planned on attending church this morning. I haven’t been to the physical building in a while and am missing going. I did watch the live stream, but its not quite the same. You get the message but miss the camaraderie of being with others. You miss being greeted, asked how you are and how your family is, you miss hearing about others, you miss the connection of those with like mind and heart.
As Christians though, there is a message that some tend to forget or miss entirely. While gathering together is important. Strength, knowledge, understanding, togetherness, all is gained by joining together. We are reminded we are not in this journey of life without others. But truth is, the church is not the building, no matter what building in which we gather. It is us, the people, the Believers, the Followers, who are the church. Going into a building, no matter the size or decor does not bring salvation. Singing songs and listening to a message, while important in worship, is not where being the church stops. Church isn’t a few hours on Saturday or Sunday and an hour on Wednesday. It doesn’t start when you walk in the door and stop as you exit.
Church is you. Church is the belief and feelings, the thoughts, ideas and actions that you have, process and do every moment of every day. The life of the Believer, is church. The life of the Believer, is a walking, talking, living billboard of your faith, of the church.
Jesus the Christ was asked, what is the greatest commandment, His response; https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/the-greatest-commandment-bible-story.html Love God, love one another. Love. Oh that four letter word. Love.
It isn’t a soda or a flower or a jewelry commercial. It is a verb, an action. It is something that takes a lot of faith and a lot of practice. So many are taught that this group or that, this nationality, this faith, this what-ever is not worthy. Not worthy of attention, respect, trust, not worthy to be bothered with because…
Ah but love. When we open our heart and allow love, genuine love for one another to fill us to the point of overflowing into action, it is such a freeing, healing feeling. The ugliness, the darkness, the pain that we have held inside, allowing to break free and show itself, not only does harm to those it is directed against, but ourselves as well. The dark side of us, is like, actually it is, a disease eating away at us.
Love is light, love is healing. Showing love is similar to an exercise program. We have to build up to where we want to be. We have to make it a routine. We have to want and desire to show love. Getting past what we hold within, what we have been taught, what we see around us, is not easy. Old habits are like roots that get deeply embedded within and do not want to release their hold. That is where habitual prayer comes in. Ask and you shall receive, trust and have faith.
I have watched the expression change on the faces of people I pass on the mountain. Those of different race or nationality. Those who would expect to be ignored or insulted. Yet when greeted in an honest, friendly fashion, their entire face lights up. I have seen the reactions of people who have been helped when faced with a difficulty.I also, have heard the words of those who have dealt with those who claim Christianity, but who leave their belief, resting in that church pew, waiting for their return the next Sunday morning.
No, I am not passing judgement on them, only passing on a reminder. The building isn’t the church…..we are. We are the only church that some will see. How do you, present the church, your belief, your faith, to those you are around? What do they see at work, shopping, around your children, when you are with friends?
What I hope, when people see me, when they read or hear my words, they see my faith, my belief, my God, in action.