As Christians, when we talk with unbelievers, we guard our conversations because “church” words are easily misunderstood.
Unless we have plenty of time when we talk with Christians from different backgrounds, we generally, but not always, keep our conversations within the core beliefs of Christianity. Straying too far afield can rapidly become quicksand.
However, there is a place where we can go and be free. Read with me 2 Corinthians 6:16:
For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Local Churches are Safe Harbors
Notice the word “among” in the verse, above. This verse applies to all Christians. Still, I see a special love from God, for when we gather in our local churches, God walks among us. Our local churches are our safe harbors and are a gift from God to us. When we arrive at our church, we arrive at our actual community.
Within our local churches, we can love (Agápe, Philia) freely. We can bless others and be blessed; we know and are known in a more intimate depth than any place other than marriage or deep friendship. This depth of relationship makes perfect sense because the Church is the Bride of Jesus. Marriage is a Biblical “type” for the Church. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
We get Married and we get Buried
Within our local churches, we learn together; we practice the commands of Christ together, we pray together, we share burdens, we add faith to faith, we teach and invest in all members, from our youngest children to our oldest members, we celebrate God, we worship together and so much more.
We hurt when one hurts. We rejoice when one rejoices. We get married and we get buried. We exercise compassion and invest time into our local churches, and from there, we reach into our local communities and, hopefully, around the world for Jesus Christ, our soon coming King! I thank God for our local churches.