Last weekend was the first time in my ministry career that I have had to cancel church! It was not just a first for Big Life C.C., it was a first in my 20 years of working in the church!
But was church really canceled? While there was definitely too much snow to gather on Sunday morning at Churchill Elementary, it is not as if we canceled "Church." Church is more than a single gathering, a place, or a worship style built on your or our preferences. Church is the people of God living for God. In that sense, no matter the weather, the location, or the convenience, Church is never canceled if you choose faith in Jesus lived out by loving the person in front of you.
When you reach out to a lonely friend in a snow storm, you are the Church. When you stop replaying the dramatic fight and start to forgive, you are the Church. When you take 10% of what God has given you and entrust it back to Him through offering, you are the Church. When you find the strength you didn't know you had to understand your spouse's point of view, you are the Church. When you take the simple, but sometimes monumental step of inviting a friend to worship to experience faith with you, you are the Church. Church is really only canceled if YOU cancel it.
Similarly, the Church is only as strong as you. The Church is only as generous as you. The Church only grows as you grow. Our internal drift to canceling Church in our daily lives will always seem less dramatic than a snowstorm, yet it is far more damaging. When we cancel Church for ourselves it damages our family, reduces our ability to love, robs us of forgiveness, and justifies our lack of generosity.
Church worship services will not be canceled this weekend. We are about to hit a warm front! Yet the real question is, how are you canceling Church within your heart? Or are you doing your work, investment, and faith to grow the body of Christ within yourself?
Have a great week. We hope to see you - and a friend - this Sunday at 9:30 or 11.