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On the doorstep

Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. 1 Corinthians 14.12

It may come as a surprise to know that the church is a gift! Not just one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church out there but its local manifestation - wherever you are. Increasingly it might be the church you don't go to and that is because it is more frequently the case that even Christians forget that we are the local church and that the local church is the Church of Jesus Christ in that place at that time - and Jesus loves that church, warts and all, so we should too.

The other big misunderstanding is that churches claim to be perfect and are therefore full of hypocrites. There may be some self-righteous types lurking in the shadows but most of us are painfully aware of how how far short we fall of perfection. What keeps us going is knowing that God believes in us so that, far from reflecting his glory in our perfection, we reflect his mercy in our progress. And that is where churches come into their own: we offer a safe space for people to grow in grace...

In theory church should not work. But the reality is that God continues to work through his Church. That we get to be a part of that is a thrill and a privilege. So, if we are looking to make a positive contribution to the world around us, the place to start is our local church, loving the unloveable and being loved by them in return. It's impossible but it happens through the One for whom all things are possible.



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