The church in the world

In the Old Testament the religious center was the Temple.  Sacrifices and worship occurred at the Temple – you had to get to the Temple.  While there’s a lot more to it (and to learn more click here), the Temple was destroyed and local Synagogues popped up & flourished.   It became acceptable to go to the Synagogues.   Jewish Christians still went to the Synagogues on Saturday and then began meeting together Saturday night or Sunday for Holy Communion.  And from this series of circumstances, the local churches sprung up.

Nearly the entire 20th century in America saw churches as the modern day version of the Temple.  The church was the center of the community and the key was to get people to the church.  The 21st century has been and is going to be much different.  The old school “Temple thinking” that many of the remaining 20th century Christians retain is going by the wayside.  It’s not that the church will cease meeting on Sundays as the church.  But the purpose of the church gathering together will not be what it was:  to plot how to get the livenativitypeople from the world into the church.  21st century Christianity is going to look like a throwback to 1st century Christianity: The people who are the church gathering together aspiring to go out into the world and be the light of Christ.

This is what I love about our Live Nativity hitting the road, going to a couple of parking lots in the Short Gap area to enact the manger scene.  Making the people come to the church is so 20th century!  We, as the church, are literally taking Jesus to the world (our own little corner of the world).  If the church is going to be relevant in the 21st century, we’re going to have to go “back to the future”, by being the church as Jesus intended – going into the world.

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