It is very easy in the day by day life of the Church in a Circuit such as ours, to miss the wood for the trees. What I mean is that so much of our time is given (and rightly given) to administration, finance, upkeep of buildings and much else besides. Those who serve on Church Councils will know how much of our regular agenda is concerned with these and similar issues.
There is always the danger of forgetting what it is all about to be part of the Church of Jesus Christ in our world today. We have to stand back at times and ask the question `What is the Church really for?` I think we should come up with a perspective that sees the Church not as a mutual admiration group of like -minded individuals, not as a social club nor as an organised charity that exists with a begging bowl stretched out to outsiders. All these, sadly, are caricatures of the Church for which we are sometimes responsible. It is imperative that we re-gain the sense that the Church is the Body of Christ commissioned and empowered to do His work.
The late Archbishop William Temple on one occasion was heard to say that the Church is the one co-operative society that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not members.
1Peter in his letter to the Christians in Asia Minor in chapter one verse nine says `But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God`s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.` If ever we are in danger of losing sight of our purposes as the Church in this part of God`s Kingdom, lets recall those words and think on them as we worship the God of Love.
With good wishes