If Jesus is the foundation of this Church, who, or rather what, are its building blocks? No doubt you’re being rightly cautious since the answer seems so obvious and no doubt you’re wondering if I’m being my usual sneaky self. Well, if you said it is individuals who have professed faith in Jesus, been baptised with preferably lots of water and filled with and living by the Spirit then you would be right.
Or rather mostly.
I say mostly because the New Testament begs to differ. The New Testament tells incredible stories of individuals, such as Saul, having an astonishing and life changing encounter with the risen Jesus, but it does not stay there. Instead, it looks beyond the individual to the family, or rather, to the household these individuals belong to.
What we see in the New Testament is the Household as the hub of the life of the church; especially when the Gospel is proclaimed in the Gentile world. We find that it is in the Household is where the church meets. It is in the Household that the life changing difference Jesus makes to the lives of individuals is seen clearest. I think of the story of Philemon and Onesimus where their relationship in Jesus utterly revolutionises them, their social standing, their economic and social status just to think of a few and it all happens within the context of the household.
Why am I writing this? Well, one of the things that has dawned on me over these last six months is how much our homes, our households, have become the place we worship in. They are the place in which we learn more about Jesus. They are the place in which we find rest and renewal; or Sabbath. They are the place in which we can grow more like Jesus as we love, serve, care for and encourage others. I say this last part guardedly because in the 95 different households that make up our fellowship 25 of them have a lone person living there. This does not mean that these 25 people do not love, serve, care for and encourage others; what it does mean is, is that they just do it differently.
But again, you may be asking why am I writing like this as there seems to be going on and you would be right. As we face the reality of more restrictions in the light of Covid-19 we need to embrace the fact that our households will be the functioning heart of who we are as a church at this moment in time.
What this might mean and possibly look like I don’t fully know but I’m eager to see what the New Testament has to say. So come on this journey of discovery as we seek to know the voice of Jesus in this opportune time.