21 October 2008

Great Doddington - Travelling nowhere

Discussing the church as we experience it, we recognised that people in the world see 'church' in one of two ways. Either they see it in terms of a building, often an old and historic building, or alternatively they see 'church' as a denomination - 'The ... Church' (fill in the dots - Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, United Reformed etc). Travelling by busBut the Bible never mentions the Church as being a building or a denomination. We felt we need to get back to what the Bible means by 'church'.

Jody described a dream, she has been experiencing the dream repeatedly recently and it always involves an aspect of travelling. Sometimes her dream takes place in an airport or a plane, sometimes in a Canadian streetcar, a boat, or some other form of transport. In the dream she is travelling nowhere in particular, and she notices the same places and the same people over and over again. It's as if the journey is taking her round and round but she gets no further forward.

We then began talking about books and the Bible in particular. We considered how we get an impression of what was in the author's mind when the book was written, but it's not possible to understand fully what the author intended. Even so, sometimes we have the sense that we have grasped it. And then we feel excited - 'Ah, now I get it!' This is true of the Bible too. How much we need to 'get' what the Lord means, what was in his heart as he authored it.

Last week, Rachael wanted to pray for the ability to remain in the world without being affected by the world.

It dawned on us that all of these ideas are connected at a fundamental level. As the Church we need to be so much more than a building or an organisation. And we don't want to just go round and round in our journey like Jody's dream. Instead we want to walk with the Lord and arrive at a destination with him. And it's the purposeful journey together that is the true church and represents Christ to the world. To travel that journey we need to understand what he means when he speaks and acts, we need to know his heart and whether we have fully 'got' the message.

Rachael became aware of a heavy darkness. And we were given the word, 'A shark is a useful thing because it makes all the little fish swim together'. There's no further interpretation to this, though clearly it might mean that when times are good we might all wander and feel independent, but danger can be a useful thing if it causes us to draw together and act in unison.

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