When brothers and sisters in Christ start to think about how we live, the inevitable question arises,"How do you find a church when you move so often?" And now, I am asking myself the question, "why do I always seem to be caught off guard by the question?" I never seem to have a pat answer, well, it has never been the same thing twice in the last 4 years.
Yesterday, Grace and I visited the church where R.C. Sproul is the Minister. There are a couple of way in which I would describe the style of worship, high church or liturgical. My definition of high church is, "a corporate gathering of worshippers, well dressed, those in service dressed in robes or a suit, an extremely reverent atmosphere calling for Christ's Church to honor and give glory to God." My definition of liturgical is, "public worship centered on the reading and preaching of the Word." Where to worship? and how? have been questions we have been asking ourselves as a family for the last 10 years. As a family we want to honor and worship our Lord Jesus Christ. The easy answer is "It is not that important how and where we worship but who is the object of our worship, Christ Jesus our Lord." Now, rest assured that there are all kinds of worship within the body of Christ and some will condemn others but we are called to love one another because that is the sure sign that we are Christians according to John 13,
"31Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is (AQ)the Son of Man (AR)glorified, and (AS)God is glorified in Him;32 if God is glorified in Him, (AT)God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33"(AU)Little children, I am with you (AV)a little while longer (AW)You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.'34"A (AX)new commandment I give to you, (AY)that you love one another, (AZ)even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35"(BA)By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."This was after Jesus had washed the disciples feet and contrastly, revealed that one of them would betray him. When brothers and sisters judge one another on the basis of where, when and how one worships on Sunday, I think we stand outside of the pattern of love. Like a lot of subjects I believe that the Word of God has something to say about how we worship Him, but I think it is important for us to first and foremost love one another.
Now, most of the people that have asked this question are ones who have gotten to know and love us, so it stands to reason that they would be curious. Most of our life is outside the norm, but God is alive and well in His children and His children are everywhere. Yes, we need one another and being a part of a believing community is beneficial to all Christians. Those times when we are not "going" to a church does not make us any less a part of the church. (see 1st Corinthians 12;-) I don't necessarily want to discuss the different ways we have encountered the body of Christ, but you may want to know that God is shaping and molding us through a number of you and you may live in Woodstock, VT or in Naples, Florida or Seattle, Washington: and inside or outside of a worship service, when we get together in whatever capacity, we do NOT cease being God's family, His Church if you will.
God has blessed our family with a wonderful leader in Dan. From the time our children were little we have spent time in the Word, in prayer and in conversation. Our family worship does not replace corporate worship, however, it has sustained us through our different times and places where we did not come in contact with a lot of believers.
I believe the reason I have never given the same answer twice is because the Body of Christ is a living organism. I guess if we were "of a denomination" it would be a no brainer, check out the local clubs of that denomination and see which one best suites us.
Living by the Spirit and trusting the Lord to provide for us is the faith that has been given to us which includes how and where we will worship with other believers. I don't worry about "how" we will find a church to go to. How is God's department. We do concern ourselves with worshipping in Spirit and in Truth. I guess I will have to get into that in my next entry, hopefully before we set out, for now, I have some boxes calling my name.