O Little Church, How Mighty Are Your Arms!
Ephesians 5: 25…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up
for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water
through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church,
without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (NIV)
Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For
the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Little church, you are the evidence of Christ on earth. You are not
just a place to meet, but you show all of humanity that Christ is real,
alive, and living in our hearts. Without you and others like you,
whether they are large or small, there would be only vague references to
Christ in a world full of chaos and darkness. You, little church, have
stood against the forces that have tried to destroy the world. Through
your windows and your doors the Light of the world shines forth.
You are a shelter in the storms of life. When we are attacked from
all sides, we can walk into your sanctuary and find solace and a place
where we are restored and refueled for the battle we wage. When we are
grieving, you give us comfort. When we are victorious, you give us a
place to humbly give praises to God.
You give us a place to sing about the wonders and wonderful love of
Christ. You give us a place to proclaim His goodness and love without
fear of ridicule or retribution. When we gather to proclaim the glory
and love of Christ, His love abounds among us.
You are the bright star in the sky that gives us guidance. Without
you, little church, we would be like lost sheep without a shelter in the
storm. You give us a place to find answers and find the truth in
Christ's teachings that sets us free. You give us a place to learn and
grow so we can share His truth and His saving love with others.
You, little church, are the example of forgiveness. When we make
mistakes and we go against God's will, you give us a place where we are
accepted and forgiven by other human beings. We learn from our mistakes
only because your church doors are open to us and there are those people
who surround us with Christ's love, even when we have fallen short of
the mark. It is because we can see that people can forgive us, that we
can know Christ also forgives us. Because you exist, little church, we
learn from the love others have for us.
You show others the acceptance of Christ. In your sanctuary, little
church, there are persons of every race, color, creed, and origin.
Everyone is accepted within your walls. We do not have to bend ourselves
into contorted spiritual or emotional shapes to be in His house. We do
not have to lie about who we are or what we are about. When we are
afraid, your walls give us security and courage. When we are feeling the
sting of humiliation, your sanctuary provides a place for us to receive
the balm of His love…a balm that restores us.
Little church, you show love that is God. Yes, little church, you
show us love. You show us the substance that is Christ. When we are in
disarray because parts of our life are not working, the people who
gather within your walls give us help and encouragement. Often when we
walk in your doors we are down and dispirited. However, when we sing
your songs, feel the love of your people, and hear the encouraging words
of your servants, our spirits are renewed.
You demonstrate the support we must have from one another. Our life
would be very lonely if we did not gather in His name in His house. We
become keenly aware, when we are together with our brothers and sisters,
that we need each other. Because your doors are open to us, we are able
to support one another in Christ's name.
You display the listening ear of God. When we enter your doors,
little church, we see the smiles and feel the warmth of your love. We
also see and come to know how much you listen to us. When we think no
one cares about us or about our life, we can walk into your sanctuary
and someone will listen to us if we need to talk. Then we know that God
is listening…because we see His people listening.
Through you, we can have communion with God. Yes, we celebrate the
act of communion in your sanctuary. However, we experience the communion
of the oneness between your love and ourselves. Since you are there,
little church, we have communion with God. We have a oneness with
In you, little church, we have a place to take our prayer requests.
Often our prayer burdens seem more than we can bear. However, your doors
open and they welcome us when we are heavy laden. Within your walls, we
have a place where others pick up our burdens and help us bear the cross
we carry for our Lord.
Since you are there, little church, we have a place to worship our
Savior. You give us a place to send our hearts up to God. You provide us
with a time to raise our hearts in praise and glory because Christ loved
us so much that He was willing to die for us.
There is, in you, a partnership between your members. There is also a
partnership between your members and God. In your sanctuary, there is
the presence of God within us. From your members, others find comfort,
and find a reason to accept Christ as their Savior.
Because of you, little church, our times of falling down and recovery
from our mistakes produces the wisdom of life. We also find the wisdom
of life in the comforting words of our brothers and sisters.
We see in others the wonderful humility that brings us so close to
God. When we see others being humble in the times of their rejoicing, it
helps us to be humble too. While we are in your sanctuary, we hear
others humbly testify to the glory and redeeming love of Christ. These
testimonies give us confidence and comfort. These testimonies help us
walk humbly for Christ.
Within your walls, little church, we find purpose and meaning in our
Christian life and our Christian walk. When we pray, sing, and worship,
we absorb the wonderful grace and love of God. Within your walls, little
church, we find that our purpose is to glorify Him.
In your arms, little church, our babies our dedicated, our children
baptized, our sons and daughters take their wedding vows, and we find
comfort for our grief when our loved ones leave us to be with the Lord.
In your aisles our toddlers play, our teenagers struggle against the
powers that assault them, and our elderly think of you and being with
you in Heaven.
You are our real home in the darkness of life, a place where we feel
secure, loved, and wanted. In your space, we find the healing of our
wounds. We find, through you, little church, how much God loves us and
cares for us.
From you, oh little church, we have bonds of friendship that last a
lifetime. No matter where we go or what we do, because you gave us a
place to meet and fellowship with one another, our hearts join in love
with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our memories grow sweet as we
remember so many of the faces and the wonderful times you gave us as we
walk through life.
From you, little church, we learn of Jesus and His love. We study
alone to find His treasures in His gospel Words. When we join with
others in your wonderful times of meeting, we discover more about Jesus.
We discover how much He loves us.
From within your walls we send up our prayers that our Great Shepherd
gathers and holds in His heart. We join with others who are also sending
up their prayers. Together we find strength in knowing we are all
supporting each other, and our praying in faith increases our faith,
because of you, little church.
When we are within your walls we can hear His voice and find His
grace. When we are together our hearts are open to Christ, and we can
hear His voice resounding within us. Together, we are moved, inspired,
and lifted up and the love of Christ touches us.
When our troubles and life overwhelm us, we can find the Lord's peace
in His house, in you, little church.