The church is the people of God gathered together – brothers and sisters in Christ meeting together.
That’s easy to say, but for many people, it’s difficult to recognize the church outside of a specific place or time or event. But, when the church really is the people, then the people will be more important than any of those other things.
My brothers and sisters proved this point last weekend. But, let me start a couple of months ago.
A good friend of ours had surgery back in December. She has been recovering well, but she cannot sit or stand in one place for more than 30 minutes or so. She has joined us a couple of times (for short periods of time) when we gather together, but she’s only able to meet with us for a few minutes.
Last week, one of our brothers in Christ called her and asked if we could gather at her home instead of our normal meeting place. She said she would love that. So, he sent out an email and got on the phone and made sure that everyone knew where we would meet Sunday morning.
We talked, read Romans, prayed, shared, sang, laughed, cried, and ate together in our sister’s living room and kitchen. She was able to sit for while, stand for a while, and, then – when she couldn’t sit or stand – she was able to lay down in her bed.
Why would my friend go to all that trouble to change our meeting place? Why would our sister allow a bunch of people into her home?
Because people are the church, and people are important.
Gathering together with the church is not about being in a certain place. It’s not about a certain order of events or actions. It’s not about listening to someone speak. It’s not about great songs, choirs, or bands.
Gathering together with the church is about helping each other grow in faith, love, unity, and service in Jesus Christ. If other things and places and events and activities take precedence over the “each other,” then we’re missing it.
Instead, we should be willing to set aside everything else for “one another.”
Do you know of other examples in which believers changed their plans to show that people are important to them?