It is so easy to focus on the external. And we (or should I say I), tend to focus on it more than I realise.
Recently I was considering a friend’s dire predicament. If only she could get a job, or lived in a nicer house, or had more money then maybe her life would begin to look more hopeful. She told me that those things didn’t matter to her. It was her heart that needed healing. It was the inside of her that needed to be restored. (I’m glad that she got her priorities right!) I thought I was thinking practically, but in reality the job, money, house is all superficial. My friend was hurting and all I could do was think about ways to “solve” her problems. It is so easy to address the external matters and forget about the person inside.
I think that’s what Bert sermon was about on Sunday. If we lose sight of the very matter, the substance, the building blocks of the church – the people – (the foundation being Christ), we are building a very hollow structure. I know that programmes, groups, and events help and they are important. But there seems to be this tendency, as if we are programmed, to address to these “things” first.
There needs to be somehow a shift in our thinking. It is what is the “inside” that should be the priority. In the end the “outer” stuff always works better when we’ve considered the people its meant to serve anyway.
So to connect with others powerfully, intimately, meaningfully, we need to connect with God first. Our life with God, our relationship with God is at the core of making all this work. When Bert mentioned the outer, inner and secret life I thought of a bowl or jar. It can be pretty on the outside and dirty on the inside. No-one can see what we are really like apart from God.
Its amazing to think that our God is holy and good through and through, right to the very centre of his being. Yes, God can do powerful things like raise the dead, heal the sick, but more than this – He is so much more. I hope that BCEC is so much more than Sunday service, cell groups, welcome team etc. I hope that when strangers enter our church they “see” love and see Christ, and amongst ourselves, we are Christ to one another.
This was a special message outside of our normal series for the year. You can find the message as well as the worship at the BCEC Sermon Page or listen to last week’s sermon directly – And Now For Something A Little Different, Part II.