thought for the week with Rev. Edward Lyons

What is the church? Jesus said, “You have heard how the pagans rule over one another but it shall not be so among you.” Staying in a hotel is great fun. As long as the bill at the end is not too high. It can be a very worthwhile exercise. You get waited upon. They clean your room, they cook for you and the list can go on and on.

Life at home is very different. Each person in a family should, though they do not always, pull their weight. Some are good at cooking, so they probably would be better doing this instead of those who can barely boil an egg. All the runnings of the home should be shared by the family which should lead to a loving and living home.

Now we might think the church runs like the family home. It is meant to. Jesus commands it to. It is meant to be a fellowship where God’s care and love is offered through the love and service of one another. God will use one for one task and another for something else. Some will be full time at some tasks and others part time at several tasks.

Yet what we find is that the temptation is to view the church, and to relate to the church, as though it were a hotel. We can dip in and dip out when we please. Or as long as we pay, we have an opinion. It should always be there just in case we need it. The problem is that this looks more like paganism than Christianity. Often people say that their church is not growing, but what we may mean is their pagan temple is not growing. What if we really did behave like the church? The way Jesus told us to behave towards him and one another? I think that if we did this we would grow, actually I have seen it. So let’s move out of the hotel and knock it down and simply build a Christian family home and then call it church.