I enjoyed the essay “Church is Here” by Joy Schroeder at “Communitas Collective.” As Joy struggled with her understanding of church and the busyness and concerns of the week, the greeting of a five-year-old girl helped her understand the nature of the church:
We finally arrived, 45 minutes later than I had planned. I apologized sheepishly to anyone and everyone while imagining the worst to be unfolding behind the doors of the enormous vacation home. Visions of grumblings about late dinner and half-starved children wailing like banshees invaded my mind. Instead, what I overheard as my family hustled inside completely changed my demeanor and the direction my evening was headed, and subtly confronted my personal struggle with what to call our group and weekly gatherings.
Emma, the precocious five-year-old daughter of one of the other families, noticed us coming through the door with overflowing armloads of food to share, and joyfully exclaimed:
“Look, Mom! Church is here!”
If the church is people (and it is), then shouldn’t we use the word “church” in that way?