Sunday, June 12 – “What Is a Church?”
View this recorded version of Sunday Worship from June 12, 2022.
Bible verses: Acts 2: 42-47
Reflection: “What Is a Church?”
Excerpts from the sermon by Rev. Dr. Fred Grewe:
“I want to give you a little context for what transpired in the first parts of Acts–chapter 2, because it’s kind of hard for us 2,000 years later, and many miles apart, and who knows how many cultures distant we are from whatever took place on that event … the in Jerusalem at the time archaeologists and anthropologists and Biblical theologians conservatively guessed that Jerusalem was a city of about 30,000 people on a normal day, so a little bit bigger than Ashland in terms of population.
But on the 3 major feasts of the the Jewish feasts of the year, Passover and Pentecost and Yom Kippur, the New Year. On those 3 major feasts pilgrims would come from all over the world to be in Jerusalem, and the city would swell to 80,000 people.
So it would go from 30,000 to 80,000, and these festivals would sometimes, you know, easily take a week to celebrate. And so can you can imagine a town of 30,000 now there’s 80,000 people here for a week, or so every bed and breakfast was full.
All the restaurants had to lay in all kind of food for this massive crowd that shows up, and I imagine everybody’s yards were packed with tents and campers, and I mean the the city would just swell would swell to 80,000 or so during these festival times.
In that one event (Pentecost), so now (the followers) have grown from 120 to 3,120, and and it’s very safe to assume that many of those 3,000 possibly 2,000 weren’t even from Jerusalem they were from other parts of either Palestine or other parts of the world that had come in for the festival.
So they’re out of towners so now you’ve got 3,120 folks all claiming to be part of this, whatever this is, and at least 2,000 are out of towners, so that’s the backdrop for this (today’s) text.
So when we read things like, you know, they shared everything they had. They had to just to survive. I mean you realize now the these folks couldn’t say, Well, boy that was quite an experience; when we go home we’ll have to find a good church–there was no other church.
This was the only place on the planet that was church and and and so this morning I just like to to think a little bit about what it means to be Church. Church is one of those words, you know, like God, like soul.
We all say those words and think whoever’s hearing what i’m saying understands exactly what I mean by those words.
That’s silly because my idea of God and your idea of God could be incredibly different and we use the same word and the same with soul and the same with church.”