Alex Brito, Mosaic Multicultural Church
What comes to mind when you hear the word “church?” For a lot of people, church is an old, cold building with a few old, cold people inside it!
I want to challenge two big assumptions people make straight away. Firstly, people often think that church is about the buildings, when it’s actually about the people.
Secondly, people often often think that church is irrelevant and outdated, when it’s actually a picture of the future and it could not be more relevant to life today.
So, what is the church? The church is simply another word for Christians - it’s the name given to all those who trust in Jesus for salvation and who have his Holy Spirit helping them to follow him.
But being a Christian isn’t a solo sport; it’s a team game. Because God is a relational God, his people are relational people. So when the Bible describes the church, it speaks in terms of relationships.
So, church is a family. God is our heavenly Father who has adopted us into his family, just as human parents might adopt a child. Christians are not just individual people who happen to follow Jesus: they are brothers and sisters who are united together with one another because they are part of the same spiritual family.
It seems as if the world is getting more tribal. Politics is getting more hostile and divided. But God’s vision for the church cuts across all of the divisions that we put up between one another. Our age, our race, our class, our gender - the church is a place where every sort of person is gathered together in unity, even in their diversity. It is a beautiful thing to see people from many different backgrounds drawn together because the thing that united them - their faith in Jesus - is bigger than the things that used to divide them.
Of course, no family is perfect. Just as brothers and sisters sometimes argue with one another, sadly the church has not always been as united as it should be. You may have experienced churches where judgment and hypocrisy seem more prevalent than holiness, grace, and hospitality. I’m sorry if that’s the case. We haven’t always lived up to God’s perfect vision for what the church should be.
That’s why we keep meeting together. We meet to confess our sins before God, to hear the good news of Jesus and the forgiveness from sin that we have in him. We praise and pray to God, and we hear from the Bible what it looks like to follow Jesus today. The church is where we gather in unity, despite all of our differences, to grow more into the people God intends for us to be.