He Only Visits Church

I saw a sign in front of a country church: “Jesus lives in the community. He only visits church.” I’ve been intrigued with that statement ever since. I think I agree. When I read about Jesus in Scripture, he was actively out in the community doing his Father’s will everywhere he went. And, yes, he often went to the synagogue and the temple, so I’m sure he’s at church every week. But if Jesus is working everywhere and only visits church, why have church? If I asked that question of churchgoers, I would no doubt get a variety of answers. Jesus visiting there is good enough for me. But I’m meandering away from the writer’s original statement, which is, Jesus lives in the community. He’s not just around one day a week, conveniently going his way right before Sunday afternoon football comes on. At first when I read church, I thought the writer was referring to the church as church services or church buildings, not the ecclesia, the body of Christ. The more I think about it, maybe not. Let’s rephrase that: “The body of Christ lives in the community. They only visit church.” As followers of Jesus we are the body of Christ. We ought to visit church but more than that, we should be living in the community. That’s where Jesus lives and works all week long. That’s where we are the light in the darkness and the salt of the earth.

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