What is “church”?

Leaving a packed church after a Friday afternoon funeral, I am pondering the idea of “church”. Most Bibles translate the Greek word ECCLESIA as “Church”.  ECCLESIA means “the ones called out”.  In times of loss I often remember that we do not make our vows out to Jesus and a building.  No, we promise to uphold a people with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.   We are a community called out of ordinary life patterns by Christ. We are called to love God, love one another and serve neighbor.   When we serve chicken salad to a hurting family we uphold the faith.  When we line up at the funeral home to simply grasp a hand our presence builds the church. When we pray that the pastor’s eulogy brings healing we strengthen our bonds.  When we tithe so that we have a place to worship and remember we uphold our community.    When we choose to lives of forgiveness and grace we bear witness to Christ in us.  May our prayers, presence, gifts, presence, service, and witness uphold all who hurt or mourn.    May we be the church to our community.

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