We are now in chapter two of “Letters to the Church” by Francis Chan and I want to start with this quote and get your feedback,
“The stories in scripture are meant to show us that there exists something of greater value than our existence and rights. There are things that belong to God. Sacred things.” – p.31
The sacred should cause us to slow down. In Chan’s words to not rush into things. To pay attention. God is God and he has full authority to do all that he does. It may not make sense to us but maybe that is because we are out of touch with the sacred and too in touch with the secular.
I appreciated Chan’s candor and transparency in this chapter that his approaches to ministry and attracting people to church have not always focused on the right things. It doesn’t take being a mega-church to do this. A church of 75 can do this as well.
We must make sure that we put God first in all that we do even if that means less people are receptive. Who or what would they be receptive to if it isn’t God?
I also appreciated the discussion of our identity as God’s temple in the New Testament from 1 Peter 2 and pairing that with God’s mighty works in his temple in the Old Testament. These sacred things are now a part of who we are as God’s people and as bricks in his spiritual house.
This also means church is sacred. When God’s people gather to worship it isn’t something to be so critical of. It isn’t like we are just ordering pizza. We are the holy people of God, gathered to do holy things. We must keep this focus as disciples of Jesus and holy people.
It is critical that we have a healthy ecclesiology (understanding of the church). That has been lacking in recent years in many circles partly because we have secualrized and institutionalized everything so that we view and treat it just like everything else in our lives.
What if we could start seeing everything in our lives from a spiritual perspective, even ordering pizza? That the pizza delivery person has the divine image in them. They are to be loved. They are to find a place to belong. We start seeing the whole world different when we begin to understand the difference between what is sacred and what is secular – to not secularize the sacred but also to understand the sacred in what we thought was secular (common).
Thoughts on chapter 2?
Be Holy as I Am Holy is a plea from God for us to change ourselves into a Holy person, a Holy Temple for God to dwell in, a Holy priest and a Holy sacrifice. There is never an occasion where God elevates us as a group or a place. We are able to enter the Holt of Homies through the flesh of Christ. If we sin we defile ourselves. Sacredness is about separating ourselves from the world to Jesus. The church is sacred when we are sacred for we are the the church and the church is always sacred because it is a heavenly institution.
God has made us holy. That is a marvelous thought! So is 1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
The cofC, and a lot of Christianity did not really mention what G-d did when he acted. The Jews had Purim, when they were saved from Haman; the Exodus, when Moses led the people out of slavery; and a host of other times during the year when they recalled the mighty acts of G-d. Too few people have heard about them, and they were occasionally mentioned but never really discussed.