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Where is the church?

Posted October 6, 2021
Where is the church?

Do you remember saying this as a little child? “Here is the church.  Here is the steeple. Open the door and see all the people!” You would fold your hands into a “church.” Make a “steeple” and then open the “doors!” It was great fun! What if there was no Good Shepherd church (building)? Would our Providence neighborhood be much different? How would our Elgin community be affected? It’s humbling to think about…

Just a few weeks ago, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Beecher, Illinois burned to the ground! The historic church building, founded in 1865, was totally destroyed in the blaze! Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire. I cannot imagine the pain and heartache that the members of the congregation are feeling. We need to keep the St. Paul’s family in our prayers.

Unfortunately, this was not the first church building to be destroyed, and it will likely not be the last.  In Old Testament times, the focus of worship for the Jewish people was the temple in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the temple was destroyed by Babylonians. The temple would later be rebuilt only to be destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

On one occasion, Jesus’ disciples were admiring the temple. Jesus refocused the disciples as He brought the temple into perspective when He said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up!” (John 2:19) Jesus was not talking about the stone edifice. He was speaking about himself! He was saying He would die, but after three days He would arise!

God promised that He would be present in His temple. However, the people abandoned their faithful worship of God. Although the people abandoned God, He did NOT abandon His people. God sent His Son, Jesus to be the cornerstone upon which He would build His church. Jesus was “the stone that the builders rejected and He became the cornerstone!” (Matthew 21:42)

Today, Jesus is the temple of God! The church is actually NOT a building. The true church of God  is wherever God’s people gather around His word and share the love of Jesus Christ! The children’s song is true! “The church is not a building; the church is not a steeple; the church is not a resting place; the church is a people. I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we're the church together!”

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