"Are we active in the Gospel, or are we merely busy in the church?"
Here's what I want to layout,
1. Church isn't about fulfilling a religious duty
2. Church isn't a hip place to promote your self-image
3. Church is not unnecessary
4. Church isn't for you and the friends you feel comfortable with
5. Church is not a clique or a place for like-minded people to gather
& Jesus, isn't about any of those things.
Dressing up in our Sunday Best was never something Jesus ever did, nor promoted.
There was nothing hip about being the son of a carpenter,
Lives were changed when Jesus spoke, & and it wasn't an inconvenience.
Hanging around children, and tax collectors didn't exactly make the rest of his group feel comfortable.
He didn't come so you and I could make a building into a cool coffee shop with twenty-minute worship, and a two-minute Bible study. It's not a place for us to feel comfortable as we see everyone wearing the same clothes, and attending all the same things.
It's to be taken seriously, but not treated as a meaningless chore.
We go for fellowship because we are all broken people in need of a Savior.
Congregating in a building that is only a building, and meant for any and all who come.
But the intentions were not to be about catering to our needs.
Our "style," and our level of comfort.
The worship won't always be Hillsong,
the Pastor won't always be famous on Instagram,
and the events might not be worth putting on the spread of Southern Living.
But I don't think Jesus was about any of that.
The focus has gone so much on us, and less on the fact that all of it is intended to bring us closer to God.
Not to make up for the craziness of our weeks, or allow others to know we are living the perfect life and are totally happy.
When the church is no longer about Jesus, it's about you and me.
And in that case, we might as well just stay home.
But when it's about Jesus, we go because we want to learn, because we don't even want to get out of bed,
because we are wearing last nights clothes or living a life we are completely ashamed of.
And we go.
When it's about Jesus it's about the things He said in the Bible, and not the ridiculous rules and expectations we have placed as a society.
When it's about Jesus, ALL are welcome and FEEL welcome.
It's not about the money, the size, the sound, or the quality, but just Jesus.
And when the focus is gone, then it does just become another lame concert, with a washed up guy, judgmental people, no parking spots, and uncomfortable chairs.
And sometimes, that is a reality.
But when the focus is on Jesus, the superficial things don't seem to matter so much.
The Gospel becomes the center and not our critical hearts.