What the Church of Jesus Needs Most, Part 2

What is the one thing needed most to fix the Church? In my previous post, I commented that this was faithfulness. In spite of whatever perceived problem might exist within the Church, it is our steady and continual faithfulness to God, to one another and to His mission, that teaches us the meaning of patience, of hope, of dependency, surrender, and wisdom.

It is a stubborn devotion that enables us to grow beyond a preoccupation with our own insights and preferences and into the maturity of death to self, honoring one another and longevity. The fruit of such maturity looks like greater love, life, and freedom of God's Spirit among and through His Church. What the world needs to see most are those who are willing to lay themselves down in brotherly and sisterly love in devotion to their God, to one another and to their neighborhood.

In his book Faithful Presence, author David Fitch writes, "Does the church have anything to offer a world full of injustice? Faithful presence names the reality that God is present in the world and that he uses a people faithful to his presence to make himself concrete and real amid the world's struggles and pain. Faithful presence is not only essential for our lives as Christians, it's how God has chosen to change the world."

It is for the sake of our cities, the sake of our own spiritual growth and for the sake of Jesus mission that we grow in our faithfulness as the Church of Jesus. For the first thousand years of Christianity, the Church understood this and practiced a stubborn devotion of oneness in spite of her differences and the transformative impact she had on the world altered history. The question is, how can we rediscover what it means to be faithful when we see so little of it modeled in the American Church today? First and foremost, we learn from the faithfulness of our God.

Through the many stories in the Bible, there is one thread that is weaved through humanity's triumphs, struggles and failures and that is one of God's faithful presence to the humanity He created and loves. It is this faithful presence that causes Him to enter into a covenant in which He will forever be our God and we will forever be His people. It is this faithfulness that brings Christ to be among us as one of us and to take our shame and sin to be killed within His body so that we can forever know the presence of God. In John 14, Jesus tells His Disciples, and so us, before He is taken to be crucified that He will not leave us as orphans but will send His spirit to continue this faithful presence of God. And now it is His faithfulness to and through His Church that He continues to become faithful to the world He loves. In the words of Paul, we are now the Temple of God's Spirit to the world.

We are meant to remind ourselves of this knowledge because, as the children of God, we are called to display the faithfulness of our heavenly Father to the world. This is not a faithfulness to Him alone but also to the Church Jesus died to make a reality. In spite of the many problems that exist within the Church, it is still the design of God to continue what Jesus started on the earth. We, together with all of our different passions, desires, giftings, and yearnings, together make up His Body. We are meant to be His faithful presence in the world.

Take some time to remind yourself and meditate on the faithfulness of our God. What are some ways God may be calling you to demonstrate His faithfulness within your particular church community? 

  • "The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)

  • "For the Word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness." (Psalm 33:4)

  • "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." (2 Timothy 2:13)

  •  "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:9)

  •  "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."  (Hebrews 10:23) 
-Vince Donnachie, Pastor of RCC