October 2012
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A Working Church

My wife, Shirley, and I enjoyed a cruise along the fjords of Norway in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. As we journeyed northward, we stopped in numerous towns and villages, often visiting churches. Among them was a 12th-century church that our guide described proudly as “still a working church.” I asked, “What do you mean?” She referred to the days of the state church, when the state-appointed pastors simply collected their paychecks but no one attended the services. But this church had been faithfully holding worship services and actively serving the Lord for almost 1,000 years!

I immediately thought of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 to whom Jesus said, “I know your works” (2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15). In addition, the church of Thessalonica was commended by the apostle Paul for its “work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:3).

I also thought of my church at home. For more than 130 years it has been faithful in preaching and caring for its congregation and community. It is truly a “working church.” What a privilege we have if we’re part of a local body of believers where we can grow and serve our Lord!

Lord, thank You for placing us into Your family and
giving us the privilege and responsibility to serve
You through our churches. May we be a shining light
of Your love to our communities and the world.
The church is a living body and must have working parts.