Ezekiel, disgruntled and serious, “Church is like school. So much learning! That is not what God wants!”
He was so intense, “God wants prayer and worship, not school!” I had to hold back laughing at my recess loving first grader. For him worship must involve slides and sunshine! 😉
Picture it, we all know Ezekiel is partially right. Which opens up a really good question: What does God want in our church services?
Much of what church does is built around learning. Messages are kind of like lectures. Our small groups are often called Bible studies. We even have Sunday School*.
The New Testament is full of preaching and teaching, so learning has an important role. But the story of the church is also full of praying and helping and fellowship.
Our church often tries to package all this in an hour service. The best example of our simplification is communion. Today it is a wafer and a sip. But the early church ate full meals together. Paul had to reprimand them sipping too much communion wine (1Cor 11:21)! That creates a different image of communion celebration!
But in that same passage, Paul also urges the Corinthians to include everyone in the celebration! And this is crucial.
The good news of Jesus is that everyone is invited. And the beauty of our community is that everyone has a place. More than simply inviting (you are welcome, as long as you fit our model) each person has a place made for them. Come as you are… the hungry eat… the scholar learns… the disillusioned receives hope…
And a bored little boy… well Jesus wasn’t boring. So I need to work on making my messages a little more exciting!
“Gods grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there was no needy persons among them.” — Acts 4:33-4
- Sunday School actually started as school. In the 1800s English slums were full of working children, so the church created classes to teach reading, arithmetic, and the Bible. It was a great service to a community in need of child labor laws. Isn’t it interesting how things change over time, how tradition grows up and the origins forgotten?!
This Sunday we continue Pouring Over Hebrews! I hope there will be some excitement, with double edged swords and a connection to obese kings! Join us at 10:30, live in person and streaming!