What do you think you’re coming to when you walk into church? Your answer to that question will affect how you come: gladly or reluctantly; regularly or occasionally; asking what you’ll get out of it or seeking to serve others; expectant or resigned. So what are we coming to?
The New Testament word translated “church” simply means an assembly or gathering of people. But what kind of gathering is it? The book of Revelation provides a couple of brilliant visions:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9).
“Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).
Our gatherings may seem a pale shadow of these, but they are a shadow – a foreshadowing. That’s where we’re heading and even where we are already spiritually. So, when we walk into church, “We’re walking into a gathering that God himself has called together, as part of his majestic plan to save and gather his people around the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re walking into an outpost or foretaste of the great spiritual, heavenly assembly of the people of God” (How to Walk into Church, Tony Payne). And who wouldn’t want to be part of that?!
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister/Vicar)