Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)
TITLE: Bringing It Together - We Are The Church
By Sharon Henderson
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She missed the USA where they had a real church with great activities for teens. Marisa and Sarah found a lot to do at that church. They sang in the choir together, went on mission’s trips together, and even had their first crushes on boys at the same time … and of course they met those boys at the church.
“I miss the worship service from our home church. Why, Dad, why did we have to give up our church to come to this block building so far away? There aren’t even enough people here to have a decent fellowship time.” More tears streamed from her light blue eyes. “I just want a real church again, Dad!”
“Honey, I know you miss Sarah and your other friends back home. I also know that you know that God has us worshipping and fellowshipping here for a reason. This is a real church. The people are the church. WE are the church.”
Marisa kicked the sandal off her right foot and sent it sailing across the room until it landed in front of the large washtub-looking bin that still had water in it from the baptism earlier that morning.
“Dad! Look around you. What do you see? See that metal thing over there? That is what you are now calling the baptistery. Can you even remember the beautiful stained glass behind your REAL baptistery back home? And what about Sunday School? Is a total of fifteen kids of all ages sitting in one corner of this room and ten adults sitting in the other really your new idea of Sunday School? What happened to the dream you had in our old church of having a thousand kids every Sunday? I want to go home to our real church with an actual baptistery and Sunday School rooms with teachers for every age, including teens!”
“Sweetie, this is our real church. This is our real baptistery. These kids need Sunday School just as we are teaching it. Remember, we ARE the church.
“Get real, Dad! You’re on your high horse right now ‘cause you think you’re some great preacher that can come over here and evangelize this whole country by yourself. Why? And what about Mom? Everyone loved her back home. Everyone said that she could provide encouragement in any situation … and you KNOW there were situations back there. Who’s going to be there for the church Dad? Who?”
“Marisa. What’s really bugging you? Calm down, okay? Come over here and sit down.” Putting his arm around his distressed young daughter, he continued, “I know that God has brought me here to spread the Good News to the people of this region. I may reach ten people or ten thousand. It doesn’t matter. And your Mom is being an encouragement here. ‘Risa, evangelism and encouragement are two of the reasons we are here in this church where we are THE church.”
Frustrated, she jumped to her feet, looking for a way to get through to her dad. Then she saw it … the stack of boxes where her dad had preached just this morning. “DAD! Do you see that stack? What is with that? You call that a pulpit? How, Dad, how? You had that gorgeous carved pulpit at home. I have awesome memories of hiding behind it as a kid and I dreamed of being married in front of it someday. But not now. Thanks to you, I’ll be lucky if I ever get married. Who am I going to meet and marry in this place?”
Her dad remained calm. “Marisa, darling, I love you. Your mom loves you. More importantly, God loves you. We are here for a reason. We each have spiritual gifts that God expects us to use right here in this place. You are part of His mission here. So get used to it. This is our church. We are the CHURCH.”
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