The choices of a lifetime
WHY WE GATHER: TO BE ENTERTAINED OR ACT?
WE FORGET CHURCH IS PEOPLE. The word church has been too deeply appropriated to describe the building where the gathering takes place. But the gathering IS the church—it’s the root meaning of ecclesia. If we don’t gather, we don’t have a church. And honestly, if we have the folks, we don’t need the building. Christianity got along fine without designated structures for the first three centuries.
But what happens when we treat the Sunday assembly as an audience.? Religion then becomes putting on a show, and the rest of us come to watch. We become an audience seeking entertainment: Amuse me! Wow me! Charm me! Spook me! But above all, please me!
But, in the end, when the show is over, an audience turns us off.
So let's get back to our roots of church as an assembly. Assembly is an active word. People assemble for town hall meetings, protest marches, community involvement at the senior center. Assembling is a deliberate act. It doesn’t involve whoever’s on the sidewalk at the time. We assemble for a purpose, not just to shoot the breeze. We gather to hear something, and then to do something in light of what we’ve heard. So: we choose to be involved, we join with others, we listen, we act. And, ultimately, if we are Christians, we love.
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications
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