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I was speaking to a friend, and they commented about how they don’t really need to come to church anymore. After all, you can get the sermons online, and the time that they have instead of coming to church can be used spending time with their friends, or sleeping, or just recovering from a hard week’s worth.

There’s some logic to that. There’s the sense that a person’s spiritual development can continue through the power of God’s Word being preached and posted online. In fact, truth be told, you can get sermon’s from great speakers all over the world now. And if that’s the case, why do you need to go to church? If we are called into a personal relationship with Christ, why do we need to go to church on a Sunday morning?

If church is simply a place to hear the Word of God, then perhaps there isn’t an urgent need into church on a Sunday morning. But I’m reminded of this verse in Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

There is something special about meeting together. The awkward hellos. The face to face contact. The “hmm, where should i sit” kind of feeling. Those are the things that we laugh at, and wish our church didn’t have – but those are also the same things that remind us of our fallen humanity. In fact, it’s much easier to be in situations where we do not feel that. Because we don’t want to feel awkward. We don’t want to be challenged.

Let’s face it, if it was up to us, we’d like to stay in our secure, pre-screened environments, away from different, irritating, or abrasive people.

And so God calls us into church. Into a place where we are not all the same. Into the awkwardness of not knowing someone very well, but sitting next to them. Into the space where we realise that in a room full of doctors, you are unemployed. God calls us into that space, because it is there that we realise that we are united by Christ.

We are not the same. And yet, we are one body.

So brothers and sisters, rejoice in the awkwardness. Celebrate in the differences. Smile at the fact that we hesitate with strangers. And then go extend a warm hand of greeting, knowing that God unites your hearts. That the differences remind us of our humanity, and the distance divides is now bridged by Christ.

And so you say, “The Lord be with you.”
And they respond, “And also with you.”

These were some thoughts from our third message in our summer series, Life Together. You can find all our messages as well as the worship at the BCEC Sermon Page or listen to the sermon directly – Life Together.

Posted in 2011 Love Beyond.