Not what it ought to be - Hope 103.2

Not what it ought to be

By David ReayMonday 6 Jan 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Acts 2:42-47

42 They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles,the life together,the common meal,and the prayers.

43-45 Everyone around was in awe-all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony,holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.

46-47 They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home,every meal a celebration,exuberant and joyful,as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved. (THE MESSAGE)

It seems so attractive this picture of the infant Christian church. God powerfully at work so that the needs of the members were met and those who were not members were attracted by what they saw. The church practised what it preached and thus grew.

A long way from stories relating the terror of those abused by those in positions of church leadership. A long way from a church that is seen by many outside its membership as corrupt and hypocritical. The church which once attracted now repels. The church which looked after its own now damages its own.

Of course the church is not all abuse and corruption and hypocrisy. Elements of that early church practice still exist and even flourish-though we may hear little of it as it is not newsworthy that Christians act like Christians! Jesus still loves his church and his church seeks in its own imperfect way to love him.

But we can’t ignore the painful reality that ‘church’ for many is not a word that conjures up images of safety and pleasure and empowerment. The Jesus who loves his church must also weep over it and call it to account.

Much abuse within the church arises out of misconceived power. The church needs to become poor again so as to become rich in Jesus. The church needs to become powerless again so that it experiences the power of God. The church needs to be broken so God can put it back together as the body he means it to be.


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