Church: An Interceding Community
Vs. 12,13 "Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.."
Too often we see church parishes break away due to internal politics that overcome the true mission and basis of the church. The image of the church has also altered through the years, becoming a place that allows for repentance of sins once a week during a two-and-a-half hour service.
However, how has God called us to live in our churches and in our communities in the midst of these conflicts? If you look beneath the surface of all different forms of worship and liturgy, you can understand that a church’s purpose still remains as a living and breathing organism through which Christ manifests His life to the world today.
The letter to the exiles was written to instruct the Jews to not be deceived into worshiping the gods of the Babylonians, but to continually worship only The Lord during their seventy years of exile. During this time, they were told to build their community and settle down. Their prayers with one another and for one another would lead to finding Christ, and his plans to prosper them would eventually bring them back to Jerusalem - essentially, restoring them back to the community they were created to be.
In 1 Corinthians 10:17 we see the commonly referred to metaphor of church being “the body of Christ”. Through this, all Christians share a common bond regardless of race, background, or ministry to care and have equal concern for one another, uniting the body as one.
Through the church’s intercession, prayer goes beyond the immediate community of the church and engages and extends to those around the world, but we must do so “with all [our] heart[s].” By doing so, as a church community let us pursue our Father, embodying his love for the world by sharing the love of Jesus and going to ‘the ends of the Earth’ with His love.
Father God, we thank you for your love which was tangibly, boldly, and clearly shown through the sacrificial death of your son on the cross. We thank you for the community You have purposely placed each of us in and we pray that you help us continue to uphold the mission of the church community through evangelism, discipleship, service, intercession, fellowship and holy living. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Let us truly “seek [the Father] with all [our] heart[s],” by embodying what it means to be a “follower” of Christ and dedicate ourselves to praying for the concerns of our church and our community.
Blessy Thomas, Long Island, MTC, NYChristian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church