Building up the body of Christ
The gifts (Christ) gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. ~ Ephesians 4:11-16
I was in a meeting recently where a pastor suggested that we need to stop saying "I'm going to church," or "did you go to church?" Instead, he suggested, we should say, "I'm going to worship," or "did you go to Sunday School class or bible study or a meeting?"
Because the church is not a building. It isn't a place you go. It is part of what you are. It is a body and you are one of the parts of that body.
This idea has been prevalent during the pandemic when few have been able to gather in person for worship. But while worship has changed, church has not. It is as it always was: the Body of Christ.
Worship is only one thing that takes part as that church body.
It is, admittedly, the thing that more people in a congregation take part in than in other parts of congregational life. But that does not make it the only thing. There are other things: bible studies, council meetings, outreach projects, fellowship gatherings, community support.
As a part of the body this is what we are called to - these things that lift up the body. As members of that body we each have a role to play, whether we are a foot, a head, a leg, an arm...
Or a teacher, a pastor, a custodian, a musician, a baker, a volunteer coordinator, an outreach worker.
Worship is only the beginning, but it is not the end of who we are. Worship strengthens us to be able to do all those other parts needed as the Body of Christ.
I am part of your body, Remind me. Always. Amen