||Pastoral Passage|| Church life in New Zealand – like that of tourism and hospitality – has been disrupted and constricted these past two years, and it seems now that the times of lockdowns and gathering restrictions have come to an end. The Lord’s response to the despondent Jews at their return from exile also speaks today to church communities who are rebuilding.
When we sing together as a fellowship, we join the reality hinted at by the coming of the wise men to Jesus. We who are not ethnic sons and daughters of Israel have joined the ‘wise men’ in their wisdom when we come to Christ and raise our voices together to him. One day we will join that multitude of Revelation 7. Today we sing as a small sample of that.
“Who is church for?” It is a question I have heard discussed and debated numerous times. I have myself. I have noticed that opposing answers are frequently affirmed without clarifying what the other answer is attempting to preserve.
I have wondered if the way we practice church gatherings is too attendance-based to prompt much opportunity for meaningful fellowship and mutual love.