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Why Church? The World Is Not a Neutral Place



“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Dear Evergreen family,

If you’ve been following the Mid-Week Message over the last few weeks, you know we’ve been asking and answering the question “Why Church?” This is a question we might not have been asking ourselves pre-March 2020, when spending Sunday morning at Evergreen was routine. Now that the pandemic has obliterated our old routines, this question rises to the surface. Why Church? Why bother? What’s the difference? Week one’s answer: “The Numbers.” Week two’s answer: “It’s a Mystery” (click here to read previous messages). Today’s answer: “The world is not a neutral place.” Sometimes you and I think of the environment around us as having only one gravitational force: gravity---that we’re held to the ground, and that’s it---that there are no other forces pulling, pushing, repressing, or propelling us. That’s not the picture the scriptures paint for us. Jesus says so above. The world, either little by little, or in big heaves, pulls us away from God. Sometimes we don’t notice. Like the old frog in the pot, sometimes the water boils so slowly we don’t notice the change in temperature. We often imagine that we go to church, bring something spiritual back with us, and simply add it to our “spiritual collection”---that our collection of faith and wisdom grows with each visit to Evergreen. So, if I miss a month, that’s okay because I’ll just keep adding more the next time I’m there. The truth is that our “spiritual collection” (if there is such a thing) is eroded like sand on a beach with each passing wave. Our faith is battered by what the world brings our way, and Church is a place to rebuild, strengthen, and transform what we already had. Church is a place where the torn muscles of our faith grow back stronger. If the world kills our faith altogether, Church is a place where it can be raised from the dead. The world is not a neutral place, but the Church battles back. The Church shines light into the darkness, hope into despair, and life into death. Why Church? The world is battering you. Church reverses the tide. Let’s give answering this question yet another try next week! The Lord be with you, and I’ll see you at church! May God bless us all. Your Fellow Minister in Christ,

Mark

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