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Friday, October 16, 2015

What is the Church?


There are about four ways that the word "church" gets used by most people.  Each meaning adds to our understanding.   Lets take a look at the first.

It can mean "the building"  For example, you could say to a friend, "Lets meet at the church, and we can carpool from there"  Obviously, structure and location are implied.

Buildings have long been associated with the church.   Central in some towns, and on the wrong side of the tracks in others, across the centuries and continents, the idea of a "house of worship" resonates with Christians.   It may be a house church - who meet in the homes of private individuals, or it may be a cathedral.  An open sided shelter, or a stone grotto, the place in which we worship communicates something about what is valued.  Our spaces do communicate!

The crucial idea here is that of a sanctuary.  A dedicated place and space, that exists for no other purpose than the gathering of the people of God for prayer, worship, and instruction in Gods word. Modeled after the first tabernacle in Exodus, it is the place to meet with God is one dedicated to hearing and following the word of the Lord..

The building is not just a building, but a location to connect with God.