Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's Not About Going to the Station

I was sitting in my office a few weeks ago, listening to a discussion.  All the pastors at ABC were in the big Fellowship Room, which is just outside my doorway.  They were talking about what "church" means.  It's not the building or the services.  The real biblical church is the congregation, the people.  We don't GO to church:  we ARE the church.  It is wherever WE are.

I decided then that our spring break would still be a mission trip.  Even though Mexico hadn't worked out, we were still going 'on a mission.'

That made me start thinking about journeys in general, and led me to this analogy:

Think about a train station.  It's a place to go to begin  a journey.  Yes, I know, there are other ways to get on a train, but the safest, most orderly way is to go to a train station.  They can be large or small, but they are all buildings where people come and go.  Things happen on schedule.  There are people to help you, point you in the right direction.  There are people all over the place.

Why are those people there?  ...to meet friends?  ...to soak up the atmosphere?  ...to be seen - wearing that new Easter dress of pair of shoes - or with that new boyfriend or girlfriend?

NO!  They are there to catch a train that is going somewhere.  What would be the point in building a train station that no train left from?  What would be the point of going to the train station, but never intending to get on any train?

Now look at it in the light of Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. (NLT)

Does going to a building count as one of those "good things He planned for us" to do?  Not hardly!  And yet that's all the "good work" some people have to show for their lives.  Just Sunday School or Worship Service attendance.  Period.  Nothing that ever spread the Good News of the Savior.

If you went to a train station, you would purchase a ticket, then you would use that ticket to get on a train and go somewhere.  The church building is not the end destination:  it's the very beginning of the trip.  It's where you can find opportunities and inspiration for your journey.  

But you have to go on the journey...

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