Monday, April 14, 2008
Search for the church
I'm reading through the book of Acts these days, scribbling in my journal any mention or description of the early church.
This exercise has been very enlightening.
What precipitated this investigation? I've been reading some intriguing books lately (Organic Church by Neil Cole and So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Jake Colsen) and most of them hold out unconventional views of the Body of Christ. It has been my practice over the years to take all interesting ideas and hold them next to scriptural truths to see if there's a match.
Some tidbits I've uncovered in Acts: The early church met daily and did not have a set time or place to convene. They shared all their worldly goods with each other. The leaders were simple and uneducated men, who did not cease preaching and teaching Jesus. They considered suffering for the sake of Christ a privilege. The early believers shared a lot of meals together and were generally a happy bunch (although there was some whining in chapter 6).
I've only read through the sixth chapter, but it's been a challenge to view the church through fresh, non-traditional eyes.
I think it's pretty intriguing that Jesus Himself didn't say much about His church--His Bride--except for the important fact that He is the One who will build it. His church cannot be built by human hands.
That's one of the reasons I love the name of the fellowship we "break bread" with now: Cornerstone. In Acts 4:11, Peter quotes this verse to his hearers, "The stone which you builders rejected has become the Cornerstone . . ."
So, Jesus is the architect and the foundation of the church He is building. How cool is that? Kind of takes the pressure off us, if you think about it. Maybe that's why the early believers spent so much time hanging out together, breaking bread with "gladness and simplicity of heart."
So, who wants to come over for dinner Thursday night? You bring the bread, and we'll do the rest . . .