It’s good to be blogging again! I missed these past few “Holy” weeks so I could spend some time in Chicago with my daughter and her family…which made Pastor Sean’s message this past Sunday all the more relevant to me. You see, Laura is not only my daughter, she’s also my sister in Christ! She delights me in so many ways, but the greatest blessing is in knowing that we will be “family” for all eternity!
A “family” church is how we most often describe PLC, and with good reason. The majority of adults who attend our services do so with children in tow. Among our ranks are families with three generations of attendees, and some whose siblings are here because they were invited by their brother or sister. But it’s when we recognize our connectedness with one another in Christ that we see the unmistakable hand of God, isn’t it? He sometimes puts us together in ways that we don’t expect!
But as much as I was tuned in to thinking about the organic, family nature of our church – and the four illustrations Pastor Sean used to identify our perception of what the church is (movie theater, grocery store, restaurant and gas station) compared to the DNA of the early church – it was something Pastor Sean said at the conclusion of his message that the Holy Spirit prompted me to think about. Pastor Sean said that he often questions: Would Jesus recognize PLC as part of the movement He began 2000 years ago? In other words: Is PLC impacting the world for Christ?
To be honest, I think the answer to that question is both yes and no. We’re doing some really good work here at PLC, and yet, there’s so much more growth needed by all of us, isn’t there? The question itself sent me to the final book of the Bible –Revelation, written by the Apostle John on the island of Patmos. And specifically the Holy Spirit nudged me to look at the descriptions of the seven churches found in the second and third chapters of Revelation. These churches provide a lens by which to view our own journey as a congregation.
In Ephesus, the church is known for its deeds and hard work, yet it has forsaken its first love (one another and Christ). The church in Pergamum lives “where Satan has his throne,” causing some to hold to the teaching of Balaam. And yet many of the believers remain true to the name of Jesus. For the church in Philadelphia, the Lord says, “I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” But for Laodicea the verdict is unsettling: “I know your deeds…So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Whenever people gather in the name of the Lord, there’s always much to commend and plenty that needs correcting, isn’t there? But that pretty much describes family life, doesn’t it?