Scripture Reading — Matthew 16:13-20
"On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Matthew 16:18 —
In conversations about the church, people will often refer to a particular church as "my church."
Identifying with a particular fellowship of believers can be good. It is important for believers to be part of a local congregation in which they are known, loved, and fed. It is just as important that they have a place to live out their faith and walk with Christ.
At the same time there can be a danger in using "my" language.
Christians must never forget that the church is Christ's church. He created it, died for it, redeemed it, and rules it. The church is the body of Christ. It is a living organism. While it may be organized, it is not first of all an organization. Though it is a gathering for fellowship, it is not simply a social group. Though it meets in a sanctuary, the building it meets in is not the church.
The church is a body made up of many parts. Though not all the parts have the same function, each part is important to the body. And while the parts belong to the church, the church does not belong to the parts. The church belongs to Jesus Christ. It exists to do his will and his bidding. The church exists to bring praise and glory to God.
Is "your" church--and therefore, are you--a living, vital member of Christ's body?
Lord God, we praise you for your church. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of it. Bless it and make it strong and faithful, filled with the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.