When the women came to the tomb, Mary was concerned that the Lord’s body was missing. They were there to perform a duty of love to their beloved Lord, but could not do anything without the body. They did not realized that the body had been resurrected in power.
What is it that we are missing these days? Are we missing the body? Why are we not seeing the same power of the church in the new testament, even though the promise of the Lord points to an ever increasing power and extension of the Kingdom?
We are missing the Body.
I believe what we are missing is the top significance of the Church, the sine qua non element of church life.
Praying is necessary, individual private connection with the Holy Spirit is essential, going about doing good, helping others is good and actually required of us. Working to bring betterment to the community is to be encouraged. Sharing Jesus on a personal basis, is of paramount importance. In the new testament the disciples preached, prayed, healed, fed people in need, went about doing good just like Jesus did.
However, the one thing they had that seems to be absent to many and minimized to many others is the fact that they met. They did not miss an opportunity to meet. Yes they were spread about the cities and regions, but it seems almost of the essence of their actions that most accounts of miracles, supernatural interventions, deliverances, provision and more are related to the Church meeting; no, not to the religious activity but to the meeting.
It does not matter if they met in a building or in a house or in an open space as the argument goes interminably. They important thing is that the church met, in the temple and from house to house. They met.
Even when the New testament writers refer to the gifts and activities of the Spirit through those Christians it seems they always put the action in the church when they gathered together. And even when such supernatural experiences happened through just one of them, there was always the body to be found behind, for there was always a spiritual connection between the body and the one sent out. Spiritual as in tangible. Real. Connection. Heavenly interaction.
Much has been pondered and said regarding the meaning of the Greek for Church: Ekklesia. It has been mostly translated as those called out and interpreted as meaning that Christians are called out of the world, or out of sin. However, the full meaning of the word and the context of usage in times of the first century church, is much more ample: The Assembly of those Called Out would be the complete rendition of the word. Regarding the context of usage, it was a Greek term to refer to the citizens of a city-state in Greek democracies who were called out to the forum where they assembled together to discuss and vote on whatever issue was the reason for the call in first place.
So the word Ekklesia shows an intentional purpose in defining the Body of Christ: Called Out, Assembled Together in One Place, With a Purpose.
Yes, with a Purpose. There is nothing random in the Kingdom of Heaven, all obeys to purpose. There was nothing random in the ministry of Jesus he followed a plan, intentionally, with pre determined purposes.
What is missing in this contemporary trend set against meeting is the sense of bodiness that those Christians had, the sense of belonging to something bigger and far more transcending than the individual members of it: The Body of Christ. And in the process the power that belongs in the meeting Church finds few opportunities to manifest at the same level it did in the New Testament.
There’s something ultimately holy about the body of Christ meeting together. Its powerful but the power is not related to socializing or human interaction; no, the inherent power of the church when we meet is released in that sacred time separated from our everyday life, as we gather as one, in one place all else is left behind and as we immerse ourselves more and more in the sanctity of the moment a connection is established, deep calls unto deep, the spirit and the Holy Spirit, no distractions just Him and us, because it is not even He and me, but us, the body.
The time is sacred, not in a religious kind of sacred, but in a transcendental, ultimately heavenly way, the angels look in amazement as we mere mortals connect with the Most High through the grace of Jesus Christ. The son of God, my Savior yet ultimately my King.
The body of Christ consecrating a time, a separate time not for personal enjoyment or for private pursuits, but much rather a time to stand in awe, in utter amazement at His Majesty, yet so close that we can embrace Him.
He who comes to church only to satisfy their socializing needs would do better in an other environment, for let’s be honest in this, there are places much more interesting than church for social interaction.
As we consider our gathering, let us not forget who is going to be there: The King of Kings, my Savior and my Lord, my All in All, the one who bled on the Cross yet He now sits on the Throne; the one who stepped low under low, for me, yet then ascended to His rightful place as King and Lord of the universe. Let us remember the we are there for a purpose, and that it is a sacred time of awe in His presence. We are there for Him because He was there for us.
When two or three meet in my name I am there, said Jesus.