North Highland United Methodist Church
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
Playing Church 
I have long remembered dragging out chairs and all the toys that could represent people from bride dolls to Teddy bears, and getting my brother and sister ready for my favorite game of “playing church”. We thought the pictures were long gone, but last monthwe found them tucked away with a bunch of old family photos. In this one, apparently my younger brother was playing the role of preacher, and I was simply a well-dressed parishioner in my mom’s shoes!
In the second picture, we are likely filling the house with the childish voices of a song we learned in Sunday School. I really don’t know how long I was able to con my siblings into this particular activity, but it was fun for a time. I have obviously always loved “church”, worship in particular. The thing is, as we grow up, it is no longer acting out a role, or pretending. When we grow up, it’s the real deal. While we gather and engage in corporate worship, we also have the privilege to BE the church. Sometimes it’s hard work. At times we may think our personal preferences should be better met, and sometimes we disagree with decisions that have been made by those who comprise the leadership teams.
Yet being a church means that it is about something bigger than our own likes, dislikes, or opinions. Last night a great crew came together for work and fellowship to keep our church grounds looking good. That is important so we have a place from which we become equipped to be the church outside the walls.
Yet the most important aspect is that the church is the Body of Christ for the world. Together, those who truly desire to follow the ways of Jesus and the bringing of God’s kingdom to earth, continue to sense the Spirit’s call and purpose. It is never only about us. It is never only about doctrine. Pentecost is just a few days away when we celebrate the birth of the church as the Spirit came in a most dramatic way to the earliest followers of Jesus. None of us are any longer simply playing church, we ARE the church as is shared so well in a favorite hymn, We Are the Church:
The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple,
the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.
I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus all around the world!
Yes, we’re the church together!
And when the people gather, there’s singing and there’s praying,
there’s laughing and there’s crying sometimes, all of it saying:
I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus all around the world!
Yes, we’re the church together.
Peace and blessings as we continue our journey together,
Pastor Lou

June 2017