After the walls had been rebuilt, and the Law had been read, the people assembled to do the nitty-gritty work of assigning roles and tasks for all of the citizens of the newly established city. A key part of the tasks to be done in the newly built city was the maintenance of the temple and the provision for all of the temple services.
One by one the people were assigned, and families volunteered to take on the roles of service. They viewed themselves as members of a great work that God was accomplishing.
Serving God was not something that they viewed as an inconvenient requirement, but rather, they were thrilled with the opportunity to be fulfilling the role for which God had created them.
Some were supposed to sing, others to labor, but most of them were simply called to give. It was absolutely necessary to show up and attend, but if the gifts of crops, and animals, and wood, and bread dough, and oil, and money did not come in, the temple would not be able to operate.
At times, we can get side-tracked as to what our role in the Body of Christ is. We can view ourselves mistakenly as merely “attenders” of our church.
We may hear of a special day that “our church” is going to have, and we grab a flier to invite someone to come to “our church’s” program. Often we think that because the Pastors or Elders are organizing it, it is something that “the church” is putting on. The failure of this perspective is that it sees our individual role as one of receipt. We view “church” as something that is done to us or for us. We don’t see it for what it really is.
So what is “church”?
We ARE the Church. Everyone who would be called a member of the local body of believers is the church. We don’t attend the picnic that “the church” is throwing, rather we bring food and plates and drinks to “our picnic” that we are actively inviting people to. The church is not a place we attend, it is something that we are.
And with this perspective, we become much more like the people of Jerusalem who saw their roles and volunteering not as an inconvenience on their schedule but as their very identity. It defined who they were, not where they attended.
Food for Thought: In what ways do you serve as part of your church?