Saturday, 23 February 2013
Go - and Be the Church
I have recently been reading Tom Arthur's book The Year of the Lord's Favour Tom was, at one time, one of my colleagues when we were both ministering in Birmingham. The book he has just written takes us on a fascinating journey through Luke's year in the lectionary and Tom has lots of interesting things to say. I was particularly struck by one of his comments which reminds us of the crucial importance of going out and being the church. We often spend so much time trying to gather people together. Tom reminds us that the scattering is the bit that really matters. He writes: "Our only purpose for gathering is to be scattered. Once the church becomes an end in itself, domesticated, seek its self-preservation and stability, it starts to fester. The job of the Church is to live out the life of Christ, the life for others. Church can become too much like home. So leaving church, like leaving home, is what the Church is all about." In other words, we need to stop looking inwards, and start looking out. We don't need to go to church. We need to go and be the church.