Friday, January 17, 2014

Yes, Jesus said, “Go to Church”

I can’t count how many times I have heard, “Father, I don’t have to go to Church to worship God, because He is everywhere.” While we do believe God is everywhere, the idea of not going to Church has never been part of the Christian point of view. In the Gospel of Luke, we hear the story of the Ten Lepers who came to Jesus who, “lifted up their voice and said, ‘Jesus, Master; have mercy on us!’ So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.” (Luke 17.13-14)

Of course, this was not an isolated incident. The Old Testament is filled with commandments for the people of God to go to the Temple for healing and to receive the blessings of God. The Church is a holy place where God continues to meet His people. There is blessing in the Church. There is peace in the Church. There is healing in the Church. There is salvation in the Church.

God established His Church, the people AND the Temple, as a place of salvation. Our journey as Orthodox Christians is not as lone rangers, but a community of faithful dedicated to living in communion with God. When God commanded the Ten Lepers to show themselves to the priests, He was offering the Lepers the blessing, and ultimately healing, of being part of the People of God. Had they said, “We don’t need to go to Church…” they would never have been healed.

It’s time to get back to Church to find peace and be healed!

No comments: