Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46 & 47
One of my favourite characters in literature is Don Quixote. With a sense of honour and justice he sallies forth to defend the honour of his lady Ducinea. The truth is that he attacks windmills thinking that they are the enemy and gets gets involved in all sorts of preposterous behaviour, assuming that he is doing good. Even Dulcinea is a figment of his fervent imagination. Faithful Pancho supports his master but knows the truth.
When I explore the idea of “church’ I get a sense that I am like the deluded Don tilting at windmills and passionate about something that doesn’t really exist. Reading Acts, imperfect as the church was, they still had something special. There was a community living in excited expectation, sharing and supporting each other.
What is there in our Western C21st culture that blinkers us to the enormous potential of the church? What binds us? Is it our wealth and materialism or our lack of faith? Or is it the fact that we have been “doing it this way” for so long we fail to see the possibilities?
In the last two years I have been to many churches and I have seen wonderful things: programmes, passion, solid preaching, functional buildings and friendly people. Yet I still sense that somehow we are missing the point.
Am I the only one? Are Don Quixote and I closer than I think?