Like most Christians, I go to church on a Sunday – OK not every single week but it’s not often that I miss a Sunday service. I love being a member of my local church as the sense of faith, family and community there are outstanding. I was made so wonderfully welcome when I first stepped through the door and that welcome has never diminished.
Since coming to faith in Christ, I think a lot about the broken state of the world in which we live. There are a lot of fantastic things to be grateful for but there’s no doubt that society in general is in a pretty poor state. A widespread lack of love and respect for others, the “Me, me, me!” attitude which is so prevalent and please don’t get me started on celebrity “culture”…
When we pray the Lord’s prayer, we say “…your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” In other words, that here on earth becomes as perfect as the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ will make this so when he returns but in the meantime, I believe that there is a duty on each of us to do what we can to improve the situation.
It’s just not enough to say “I’m a Christian.” then go to church on a Sunday and leave it at that. Yes that is important but it is out in the wide world that the work of the Christian needs to be done. It is beyond the church door that we will find the needy, the dispossessed, the misguided and many, many others who need our help. I firmly believe that is what Christ calls us to do as Christians.
There’s a lot of work to be done.
When I pray, I often ask that God will show me ways to use my skills to make the world better in some small way. I was praying about this in church the other week when God gave me the image of the lights I use on my bicycle. These lights use rechargeable batteries and every so often, when the light grows dim, I have to take them out and plug them in to charge them up again. Then the following morning they are ready to shine brightly and illuminate my daily commute.
I believe what God was saying to me is that church is the place that we come to be spiritually recharged. We are like the batteries and yes, we need recharging but the work we have to do, that we were made to do, is outside the church. However, we should then seek to be fitted back into our own, metaphorical bicycle lights (working lives, outreaches and ministries etc..) so that we can make God’s light shine in a dark world.