“[Jesus said] You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14–16)
Dear Evergreen family,
“Why Church?” I’ve been asking and answering this question for over a month because it’s that important. The pandemic has forced us to reassess how we spend our time, and we need to know why church belongs as a priority. To read my previous five answers, click here. Here’s answer number six: “It Helps Other People a Lot.” Usually, when we consider spending time at church, we think about how it might help us. We might feel that we need a word of encouragement. We might feel the need to pray. We might feel the need to connect with others. We might feel that we need to learn more about the Bible. We often determine our response based on how church might help us. We rarely think about spending time at church as a way of making a difference in someone else’s life (aside from a service project). After all, if church is a “show” or a “performance” of some kind, then the attendees don’t affect the presentation. It doesn’t matter who’s there and who isn’t. Of course, we really do know deep down that church is not a performance or a show. In fact, what happens at church has everything to do with who’s there. In the quoted scripture above, Jesus says that our presence matters. When a room has 100 people praying, it feels very different than a room with 10 people praying. The 100 are impacted in a different way when they are all gathered together. Your presence blesses the other 99. You are giving a gift to the 99 when you show up.
The same is true when we gather to sing, to take communion, to share a meal, to study, to engage in service, or even just to sit. Yes, to sit. Even sitting, while gathered in the pursuit of Jesus, is a way of letting your light shine. People can feel it. I can feel it. It makes a difference. Did you ever think that you might help turn someone’s life around by just sitting? It happens all the time. It really does. To check out the wide range of very concrete ways that people are impacted by your sitting, take a look at the first message in this series, “Why Church? By the Numbers” (click here). Why Church? Because it helps other people a lot. May God bless us all. Your Fellow Minister in Christ,