Our church is growing! It’s wonderful and encouraging to be welcoming new families, new couples, new individuals to church, and better still when they decide to make this their new cialis 5mg home, and become new members of our church family. We thank God for all the people – thank God for the noise of children playing (and sometimes not playing!) in the corner, thank God for the extra chairs we need to put out, thank God for the new stories we learn of God’s work in people’s lives. We are so very privileged, and especially at a time when many churches are saying more goodbyes than hellos.
Our growth means that sometimes, I struggle to remember people’s names. I feel very embarrassed, especially when I know we had an in-dept conversation last week! I suspect that lots of people have the same problem. Our growth means that sometimes, I don’t notice that someone hasn’t been at church for a while. It means that even if I do notice, sometimes it takes quite a while before I get to find out if they are OK or not.
In fact, our growth means that sometimes, we don’t do church very well. The New Testament writers – and that means, God – uses the image of a body to describe the church. Each part needs to look after the others, accept and value the others, or we get into strife – imagine if you forgot to look after your stomach. Or treated your leg as if it belonged to someone else.
This week we begin a short series thinking about church, starting with Ephesians 4:1-16, where the Apostle Paul tells us that we need to live up to our calling – we have all been called by God into unity with each other, and living up to that will mean making personal sacrifices. Too often Christians maintain ‘peace’ by living in silent dislike of each other! But that’s not what Jesus died for. Christ has gifted each of us so that we have what we need to help each other grow to spiritual health and maturity; and that his goal for us is perfect connection with each other and himself.