The church I attend (I’ll never feel comfortable saying “my church” as if it belonged to me) and serve as pastor is pretty amazing and I’m incredibly grateful, but the #4 Big Thing I’m thankful for is not the local church I’m privileged to be a part of, but THE CHURCH that spans around the globe and throughout history.
I am thankful for the Church because I am a part of something greater than myself. I am part of the multitude of people who have trusted in Christ. This multitude encompasses generations long past whose testimony stands as a great example for me today. This multitude includes people whose skin, language, and worship styles are all very different than mine which teaches me that I am not the center of the universe and I do not know everything.
The Church for which I’m thankful has nothing to do with buildings, logos or programs. The Church is found gathered on lawn chairs under tin roofs, in basements with closed windows, and in building specifically designed for worship. The setting is not what makes the Church special. No, it is the Savior that makes the Church special.
We are a rag tag group of misfits that believe in something that the world says is foolish. We are a bunch of sinners trying to point people to a holy God. We are flawed and sometimes foolish. We sometimes loose our way and get distracted. But our core identity is not about who we are or what we can do, it is about what God is doing. God is at work in the world drawing imperfect people, saving them through his son’s work on the cross, and then holding us up as a display for the rest of the world to see what he can do. I am thankful for the Church because we are all in this together and those things that divide us are nothing compared to what joins us together.
Recently among Christians it has become popular to ignore the Church. Some think they can draw close to Christ without the Church, but they are very, very mistaken. Those who follow Christ are necessarily joined together by an intentional bond planned by God himself. This plan was for us together to show his grace, his mercy, his justice to this world. We need to be more thankful for the Church together because it is God’s work through us, the Church, that is the hope of the world.