Why Church? - Part 4 - Purpose
Why church? Now that's the question that I'm asking in this little series called Why church? After such a long time of meeting in different ways, online, from the sofa, maybe even not coming at all, occasionally in person. Why church, why step back into something? Why step back into the things that we had before?
Well, that's what I'm addressing in this little series over the summer 'Why church'. We've already looked at three things we've looked at - we are a family, we are a body and we are encouraged. Please do go back and listen and watch those ones. If you haven't had a chance to catch up yet, they're all short as I can make them.
Today we're going to look at the next one. Number four in Why church. Colossians 1:19-20 says this: 'For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.'
I love this set of verses and right at the heart of it is this word 'reconcile'. God has got a mission, a purpose, and a plan in the world. Through Jesus Christ, he was reconciling everything, everything in heaven and on earth making peace through Jesus and reconciling those things to himself. How did this happen? It happened because of Jesus' death and resurrection on the cross when he died and his resurrection where he defeated death, so that sin could be paid for, death could be defeated and we could be reconciled to our loving heavenly Father. That's God's mission. That's his purpose and his plan that is what he is doing through Jesus.
But the wonderful news is, is that Jesus includes us in his mission. He says to his disciples 'as the Father has sent me so I send you' John 20:21. So the mission of God the Father becomes the mission of God the Son, Jesus, and Jesus in turn, commissions us with the same mission, with the same purpose, to be joining in that work of reconciling all things to God, the Father so we have a purpose.
This is why church, because together we have a purpose and we can't fulfil this purpose alone. We can do our part, we can love our neighbours, we can do the things that God calls us to do. But part of it is worked out together and together we have a shared purpose. This is why we've got this, not a program, a series of Bible studies that I hope is not going to be something that you do once, but it's going to become part of the culture, the life of our church family. It's called Discover God's Heart. A series of Bible studies that you can do with your homegroup that you can do with a prayer triplet. If you haven't got a group of people that you want to do it with, then let us know and we'll help to get you connected. And the idea is really simple. We read the Bible, we ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us and then we ask, what are we going to do about what we've heard? What act of love, how might we put this into practice. And in doing so, what that does is it activates God's heart in our heart. It reignites our purpose. And that is a good thing. You see, mission is communal, it's a together thing as the Spirit pushes us out into the world.
Why church? Because we have a purpose as we're drawn in so we are also drawn out. So I pray, my challenge for today is that we would rediscover. We would rediscover God's heart and that we would step out as church together. Why church? Because together we have a purpose. Amen.