The local church has had an interesting history over that last two thousand years. On one hand, it has been a powerhouse in being a great blessing to society in the way it shows leadership, compassion and love. In our own nation, the church developed schools and hospitals well before any government agency took on the responsibility of providing these basic services. On the other hand, and sad to say, it has also become known for its division, sin and lack of love.
Even at our time in history the church has come under attack for its shortcomings when it comes to child abuse. Not a day passes without news surfacing concerning the shortcomings of the church in how it has detrimentally impacted innocent lives. It is so tragic. Yet, the church was meant to be the salt and light of a local community displaying God’s love to a needy and hurting people. In many ways it has now become irrelevant and is not even noticed anymore. Many churches have become rather exclusive and have lost the passion they once had to be builders of God’s kingdom here on earth. Why has this happened?
Paul’s letter to the early church in Corinth is a good one. Problems had surfaced in this rather significant church that was blessed with very talented and gifted people. Word had come to Paul that all was not good in the church as one problem after another surfaced. The church, of course, is made up of people … people who are from perfect! People who are often downhearted, selfish, irritable and who struggle with the realities of life. Paul’s letter addresses these problems that still are very common to many a church even today in this twenty first century! There is much for us to learn as we continue on in our journey of becoming distinctive disciple of Jesus. Surely, we want to be known as a loving church whom loves God first and foremost and loves our neighbours as ourselves.
Pastor Ernest sets the scene for us today in our first look at God’s counsel to churches like ours. He will remind us just how blessed we are in all that God has given us through Jesus. He will take us back to the reality that we have been given every spiritual gift necessary to be about God’s business as we wait for the return of our Lord Jesus. We will be reminded just how much we are loved by God who has called us into fellowship with His Son Jesus! We will be reminded just how faithful God is to us! So … yes indeed … we should ‘Count Our Blessings’ as we embark on our next journey together as disciples of Jesus!