Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
I spent this afternoon working on the covers of my two soon-to-be-published books. I had some ideas floating around my head, and got a little creative boost somehow, so I figured I’d put some other things aside and tackle that project.
I was trying to design the covers to reflect the titles of the books. For the book titled “Life In The Rear-View Mirror”, I had considered using a shot through the front window of the car, with perhaps some photos laid on top of the mirror. Instead I just went with a nice shot of the road. It’s a cool photo we took a while back, and I was happy I could use it.
The other book is a book about the church titled, “There’s The Steeple… Here’s The Church“. Obviously I wanted to use a photo of a steeple. We have several to choose from as there are four very old church buildings right at the end of our block! 🙂 So I used on of those, and then had this cool idea of putting some photos of people “being the church” underneath the more prominent photo of the steeple.
That’s where it got interesting.
As I was browsing our photo library, looking for pictures that I thought would better reflect the church, I was having trouble selecting just the right one.
At first, I wanted a crowd. But that wasn’t right, since it just suggested a bunch of people watching a show. That’s not the church. Then I wanted some shots of people helping people, like a few shots of people helping us move, or helping build our deck. But that’s not the church, that’s just people helping each other. I even thought I’d get a photo of a dinner or something, but then again… that’s not the church, just people eating together.
And it hit me. Yes, that was the church in all of those cases, in all of those situations. But… the church is not defined by what we do!!!! I could not pick the right photo because a photo captures something we are doing at a moment. I could have just put pictures of people who are part of the church, but that would just look like people.
What defines the church is who we are. Who we belong to. We are the group of people who have learned the truth about who we are. We were created to be in a relationship with the Creator. He made us to be his. To be the church. The people whom he has called out from a life of sin and meaninglessness. That’s who we are… that’s the church.
You can’t really get a photo of that. You just get to live it.
It just reminded me that we need to stop trying to recreate church. Church can not be created. Church is. We are the church because God has made us that. It’s not our buildings, our meetings, or anything that we do together – in our out of those buildings. We are not defined by a name we give ourselves, or a calling, or a ministry, or anything that we do.
(Have I mentioned that yet?)
We are not the church because of what we do. We are the church because of what God did.