Sunday, November 23, 2014

Guder: church a place or what?

Sunday, November 23, 2014
    Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
    [Jesus:] “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
    —Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
    The grammar commonly used to refer to or ask about the church still carries heavy baggage of being a “place where certain things happen.” We ask, for instance, “Where do you go to church?” “Where is your church?” “Did you go to church last Sunday?” Indeed, even when not referring to a tangible building, we tend to relate “church” to a meeting or activity, a set of programs, or an organizational structure. Only with awkwardness would one talk about being “part of a church.”
    In North America, this “place where” orientation manifests itself in a particular form. Both members and those outside the church expect the church to be a vendor of religious services and goods.
    ... Darrell L. Guder, Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1998, p. 83-84 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 18:20; Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:24; Matt. 12:28; 28:19-20; Luke 17:20-21; Acts 17:27-28; Rom. 14:17; Col. 1:17,27; Rev. 21:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, release us from our enslavement to personal comfort.
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