Summary: My vision for a return to Old time religion in an old time church
April 11, 2018
Mine? – Yours? – Ours? Or HIS!
We hear blended families refer to their offspring as his, hers and ours. I’ve never quite grasped why any distinction is necessary. If we are a blended family, we should be as one. When I officiate a wedding where the bride, groom or both bring to the marriage one or more children, I always like to include the children in the wedding ceremony. I am a big proponent of the blending of sand within that ceremony. The bride pours her sand (‘in her choice of colors) into a receiving vessel as does the groom. However, I like to have sand for each child to also pour into the vessel.
The blended sand represents the blending of lives – in name, in aim and in happy destiny in the Lord. That container of sand may then be prominently displayed as a constant reminder of the oneness of the family. The sand ceremony replaces the “unity candle” where when the flames are extinguished, all that is left is a smoky memory.
In this reading Luke is explaining the meaning of ekklesia (Greek for church). Ek means from and klesis means call. Thus “called” from or let’s say called together. Isn’t that what “church” is really about? What do we do when we are called together? What should church be about?
Church has much to do with blending the lives of those gathered as does that wedding. We in the church are a church family in every sense of that word.
Well, I am going to share my vision for a bible-based church based entirely upon this reading.
Please envision in your mind’s eye an old-fashioned church building, white with a steeple and cross on top. That is not church! That is a church building. Nevertheless, it projects an image and equates to an invitation.
The sign over the door says: “Old Timey Church” and the sign on the lawn reads: “Where Old Time Religion is Practiced”. As one enters, there is aura of peace and calm – it is inviting.
There is no apparent status! Everyone here is “elite”.
There is a part in the service for anyone to share a testimony, a pressing need or a prayer request. Nothing is hurried. After the sermon message has been delivered, there is a time for questions and discussion. This church encourages participation and honoring the Sabbath, which means not having to rush for any other matters or time constraints.
Worship consists of old time hymns and contemporary praise and worship.
The theme of the church is “WE LOVE AND SERVE GOD BY LOVING AND SERVING EACH OTHER”.
In our reading, Luke describes the church of his day as an assembly of believers of one heart and one soul. Sounds like of one mind to me. They shared all that they had with those in need.
Does that mean that we should all pool our resources and possessions? Certainly not! But we should share what we can with those in need. As I look back through the years, the best memories I have are of seeing someone in need receive a blessing to meet that need. When given with a heart for the Lord and not as an obligation, that feeling is truly great.
It isn’t the size of the church that makes it great, it is the size of the heart of the church.
Let us pray, and as we do let us pray for our church.