I Love the Global Church
I Love the Global Church
WRITTEN BY CAROLYN DEEMER
As our Sunday morning worship has revolved around the theme, “I Love My Church”, that has led me to reflect on how thankful I am for the global church. It has been an immeasurable blessing to be involved in the Body of Christ in Mexico. For anyone who has been on a mission trip or even worshipped in another country over vacation, the differences in the global church stand out immediately: language barriers, longer or more expressive services, the local customs and style of worship. It all seems new and exciting and so … different! Could we all be members of the same body?
After the initial newness dies down, we see the deep family ties that bind the church. The love, the fellowship, the hospitality. “There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Eph. 4:4- 6) We read the same Scripture; we share the same table of our Lord; and we can boldly approach the same throne of grace in prayer, no matter the language.
How do we love the Global Church?
Pray for her! Our pastor in Mexico regularly prays for other congregations throughout
Mexico City as well as the broader global church. Rarely does a Sunday go by that Pastor Victor doesn’t remind us that we are part of the global body of Christ, spanning history and the globe. What a privilege! Here are some practical ways to start praying for the church around the world. Begin by interceding for any churches you know of personally, or pray as you listen to news about other countries. Additionally, there are a number of ministries, such as Voice of the Martyrs, that offer specific ways to pray for the persecuted church. We can get creative in the ways we pray for the global church … but, above all, let’s just be intentional about doing it!
Give and Receive Often, we in the West think mostly of prayer or financial giving in order to support the global church. That is certainly important, especially as we have been blessed so deeply in the areas of physical resources. However, we should also have a posture of humility to receive from the global church. We have so much to learn from our brothers and sisters around the world, as well. I have been challenged in my faith in new ways as my Mexican church family has helped me to read God’s Word through a different lens than I usually do! Some Mexican friends of mine went to England as missionaries in order to reach the post-Christian British, as well as England’s droves of Muslim immigrants. South Korea and China, once the recipients of missionaries from the West, now send an endless stream of missionaries to the nations!We have countless brothers and sisters around the world who set an example
for us of how to endure faithfully in the midst of persecution. May we be emboldened to live passionately for Christ because of their testimony!
Unite in Worship! And finally, our experiences with the global church should remind us that God’s plan of redemption is so much bigger than our moment in history and our corner of the world. Though we are all distant strangers now, the day will come when we will be fully united in worship as the redeemed children of God! Let us live in the spiritual reality that is ours now, and long for the fullness that is yet to come!
And they sang a new song: “Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” Rev. 5:9-10