We are a Church. We are a Church without walls. We are a Church with no limits, no boundaries. We are a Church for the un-churched. We do things a little differently, not to say we’re better, not to say we’re more right. We do so because we felt led by God to do so.
We have no desire to build a building. We’d rather build community.
We have no desire to create programs. We’d rather spend time with each other, build relationships and friendships in a way that is more akin to just spending time together.
We have no desire to create and manage a staff. We’d rather do life together with family.
This morning in prayer I felt led to read John 4, where Jesus goes to Jacob’s well and asks the Samaritan woman for a drink. She’s surprised by this, a cultural divide existing between Jews and Samaritans. Kind of like regular Church attendees and believers that don’t attend regularly; never felt they fit in, sometimes actually weren’t really accepted. (I understand this is a generalization and mean nothing derogatory by it.)
Jesus says “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” He goes on to say “Everyone who drinks this water (from the well) will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Revelation: the modern churches – congregations – are like this well. We keep coming back to get our water, keep working for that which we thirst for…God, Fullness. We don’t have to keep going back to the well to find fullness, to quench our thirst, for the Spirit of God has been given to us and once we drink it in, accept it, invite it, we find life growing inside of us. Our thirsts for God becomes quenched by God, regardless of what day of the week it, regardless of where. (Do not make the mistake of doing it alone though. We need each other and Christ says “Where two or more gather together in my name, there I’ll be)
What was so striking about this is that just a few verses later the Samaritan woman says, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem is where the temple was. A building. The chapel. A “church.”
“Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
Not the way our Fathers did? Not at the temple?
Jesus continues, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and truth.”
The Samaritan woman seems to understand what He’s saying enough and responds with “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
It’s like she was saying, “Ok, so the way we “do church” will change, but that probably won’t happen until Jesus comes.”
Jesus responds to her. “I who speak to you am he.”
The time is here. The time is now.
The Church is not a building, not a temple. We are the Church. Simply by following Christ and his commands, love God, love others (all others), we DO Church.