John 6:56 “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.”
Later in his gospel (John 15:5) John will come back to the idea of remaining in Jesus; “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If we assume for the moment that the above verse from John 6 has at least something to do with communion, we see how vital it is to being in touch with God. Of course, you can’t give yourself communion. Private communion is a contradiction in terms. I’m all for silence and solitude, time alone with only God, but that was never meant to be the totality of our relating to him. You can watch a church service on TV. You can get a lot off the internet. You can learn a lot from reading the bible or other books. You can’t “eat my flesh and drink my blood” and thus remain in Christ the way he speaks of here without being present bodily in the community of faith. You can find fault with the church all over the place and your criticism will no doubt be valid, but with all its shortcomings the church as the people of God committed to coming together physically in one place to remain in Jesus and feed on Jesus or however you want to word it is still pretty important according to what we read in scripture. How and where will you devour Christ and remain in him this week?
3 responses to “August 17, 2015”
How do we get this across in today’s world? I am struggling with it right this very moment (and for weeks past – and months to come). I bring my children to church because I believe what you are saying so very deeply. That they (and my husband and I – and everyone out there) NEED time in church – communing and relating to each other and learning from the children of God around us and their unique experiences. But, I see sports and dance and sleep overs and just plain “sleeping in” taking the place of church. Even if I step way outside the box, I find it difficult to find a day/time that brings people out and allows them to have church trump the other priorities of life. As my church comes to an end due to an inability to bring people in and keep up with the finances – and I search for a new church home – I believe in my core that going to church is vital for all of us. I pray that I listen to God and His direction for where we will join next. A place, I pray, that has others who believe as I do – and who WANT to be in church. Even if it is a changing church that attempts to meet the needs of Christians in 2015.
We have had several churches close in our area and it is very sad. Some of the folks have ended up in our congregation and have found new church life there. They have been a great blessing to us. We are in the midst of a sweeping cultural change in our world and things will not be the same in the future as they were in the past for most of us and most churches. But the church and churches will continue and we each will find our place with those who believe to service Christ and others. I pray you will find peace in your time of transition.
Thank you. On the completely opposite sode of things, the other hurdle being – helping those who are incredibly attached to their church building know that there is still faith and hope and love in other churches. Quite the challenge for those who have spent decades in one place – never dreaming of needing another church home. They understand the need for communing with others – but cannot visualize doing it in another place. How to show them that God is alive and well in other churches – and encourage finding a new church home without minimalizing their feelings as “their” church closes? Much to ponder at the moment.