Many times we think of church as a building where we get together with a group of believers to praise and worship God. Church is so much more than that. It is ordinary people connecting with the extraordinary power of God to share His love with the world. Think back to the early church, it wasn’t a place. It was a movement, a group of disciples looking to change the world, and to offer salvation to a world that was hungry for it.
As followers of Jesus Christ we need to continue to be like the early church and show the world that there is a better way to live. In Colossians chapter 4 Paul explains this way of looking at the world. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful…Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. In our society today, and the community that surrounded those Paul was writing to, earthly creations are valued more than the Creator of those objects. We must make the foundational choice to have a thankful attitude rather than a sense of entitlement. To do this you should be grateful for what you have, and count your blessings every day. When you are with non-Christians you should be mindful of how you act and what you say. A Christian’s posture should constantly point people to Jesus. Another counter cultural aspect of Jesus’ teachings is to be open to conversation, to not be overly critical and judgmental of others. Finally, Paul reminds us to have a sense of joy and excitement about our faith. By following these guidelines we are able to bring others towards a relationship with their Savior while strengthening our own.
A great example of this is a vision that a man had of heaven and hell. He saw a room filled with people and a large stew pot filled in the middle. Each person had a spoon with an extremely long handle. The people were angry and arguing, as they were all so hungry but could not get any stew since the handles of their spoons were too long to feed themselves. In a similar room the man saw the same stew pot and people holding spoons with the same long handles. However, these people were happy and filled with joy, as they were using the spoons to feed each other. The first room is like hell, when you are only worried about serving yourself, you will end up angry and frustrated. The second room is like heaven, where by serving others you will be filled with joy and peace. We must look at our world this way as well; there are a lot of people who are hungry for salvation and good news. By feeding those who yearn for God’s love and grace, we in turn are fed and filled with the same grace and love we have offered.