This month I am teaching the preschoolers at PromiseLand about the church. Last month I focused on Jesus and His life, death, burial, and resurrection, so obviously the next thing is the church. To make this transition from the cross and resurrection I backed the kids up to the life of Christ and what He was doing the three years of His public ministry. We talked about some of the miracles He performed and we talked about how everyone all around was talking about this man named Jesus.
In the 16th chapter of Matthew we have Jesus walking with His disciples and He asks them amidst all the fuss, “who do people say the Son of Man is” (Matthew 16:13)? The disciples ramble off several of the top declarations that were going around town, but then Jesus asked them, “who do you say that I am?”. It doesn’t really matter who others think Jesus is, it only matters who you think He is. Peter boldly declares that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:17) and Jesus then tells him that it is upon the rock that He will build His church.
After sharing this Scripture with my preschoolers I showed them this picture,
and I asked them if this is what Jesus meant when He told Peter that upon this rock He would build His church. At first they were not sure, but then I reminded them that we had just learned that Jesus was the Rock. So if Jesus was the rock, then who is the church? At this point I showed them a picture of a group of kids. They then learned that people are the church. We who believe are the church.
This brought me to our new verse, 1 Corinthians 6:19,
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
Before the cross the Lord made His presence known through all creation. He has always left us a witness and a testimony of truth. Then the Lord called out Abraham and from Abraham He called out a nation to be His. This nation was to live by His laws and commands because out of them would come our Savior.
God was at work in our fallen world preserving His promise of redemption and restoration that He made to Adam and Eve all the way back in the beginning. His Spirit was placed on individuals for moments to allow them to do His will at a particular time, yet His Spirit would leave. His Spirit was with those who sought God, but now in Christ, because our sin was dealt with, His Spirit could now LIVE IN us and would never leave us again.
His Spirt in us unites us to serve Him in a way that was never possible before. This is why Jesus told His disciples,
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
As I was thinking about what this new age means, this church age, this age of Christ in us the hope of glory, and the fact that when we receive Him as our Lord and Savior we are united in Him to serve Him. As I thought about how all who believe are now supposed to be one in Him, I thought of this part in a movie called, Big Hero 6:
One lone microbot could not do much. It could not hold anyone up. It could not take anyone anywhere. It could not build upon itself. However when it linked up with all the other microbots there was nothing they could not do together.
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
What made the microbots so powerful was their working in unity. They did not all do the same thing, but when each did what they were individually called to do in the group of microbots, then they were powerful.
The power behind the microbots and their unity in their individuality was the fact that each one microbot was being controlled by the same one thought. They all served Hiro. When they were no longer connected to him they were powerless. No longer held together in unity by Him, the microbots simply crumbled to the floor defeated and lifeless.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
He is also head of the body, the church
Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
The microbots are not trying tell each other what they should do and how they should do it. There are not divisions of microbots that are trying to tell the other microbots how to do the microbot thing right. No, they are each one individually connected to the head, each one being controlled by the head, yet somehow all working together in unity.
Oh church this is our greatest secret to the world. If we, each one, will hold fast to the Head, to Christ, then we will be like those microbots. We will be able to be the hands and feet and mouth and eyes and ears of Christ. We will be able to be the path of and to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We will serve in a unity that shocks our community and our world.
One microbot didn’t turn anyone’s head. Yet when they all joined together and worked individually in perfect unity people stopped to watch. However also notice that they worked together for purpose, for benefit, for good works… not to just put on a show.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Today is Sunday. Christians will meet today all over the world. We have a choice as we meet. We can spend our time this morning talking about the world events, teaching the traditions of men, and puffing ourselves up with emotional experiences or we can empty ourselves and lay it all down at the foot of the cross and seek Christ and Christ alone.
Seek His thoughts.
Seek His will.
Seek His ways.
If we will all die to ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him imagine what that would look like! United in our message, in the gospel of Christ. United in His Spirit that dwells individually within all who believe. United together in love, by love, for love. Hiro and his microbots would have nothing on Christ and His church!