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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 Christ.

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.

 

 

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2009 by Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
All content is presented on behalf of Shepherd’s Care Ministries. Shepherd's Care Ministries reserves no right or claim upon content.

Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018