Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! We do so in our homes unable to gather in one place to lift our voices together in celebration. I can help but wonder and ask, isn’t this is how the 1st Century Church felt? In fact the disciples were at home in fear that they would suffer the same fate as Jesus. Then the woman came and announced that the tomb was empty. After Jesus ascended into heaven and the church was born, they met every day in the Temple Courts and in homes. It wasn’t until the 4th Century that the church become legal and started to build buildings. Ever since then, the church building has taken a center stage for ministry. Now enter in COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. The church no longer can gather together and I think it is a good thing.
The current situation forces us to re-think what the church is all about. It’s about sharing the Gospel and making disciples. It’s about journeying together, serving one another, and loving each other. These are at the basic level what it means to be a part of the church, the body of Christ. You do not need a building to be the church or to worship or to make disciples. We live in a time where some churches (a lot of churches) have bought into the idea that we need to have elements of entertainment in order to attract people; darkened rooms, controlled lights, production, and a “talk.” There is a belief that people will not be interested if we preach the pure Gospel and we need to create an experience that is individualistic and entertaining. If we buy into this, we do not believe that the Gospel is enough and we try to gimmick Jesus, and this cheapens the Gospel. When we gather together again; we gather for worship, voices lifted together, lights on, and in community.
I was encouraged that the Church I pastor led people into worship and we didn’t need the building. Our worship team didn’t meet at the church building to produce our worship encounter. Various worship team members had different roles in their homes and we all worshipped Jesus. I praise the Lord for technology that we can be gathered and scattered together. On that first resurrection Sunday, Jesus came and met the disciples in their home. I believe He did the same thing for Grace Church today.
This time makes me re-think the church. The church is not a building. The church is not a place to attract more people (our lives, love for each other, and the Gospel does this – more on this in a future post). The church is a community loving Jesus, each other, and those around us so much we share Jesus with them. This is the church and it has left the building.
You can watch the Grace Church Easter Worship in its entirety here: