You don’t have to be a long-time Christian to know what the phrase “be the Church” implies. It’s come to represent ideals of compassion, grace, and mercy. “Be the Church” isn’t simply a saying, but a verb. To be the Church is to take action for the good of others.
The first generation of Christians knew this well. Acts 2:41-47 tells the story of the early Church following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to Heaven:
“41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Those first several verses talk about what the apostles did amongst themselves. But in verse 45, we see the focus of this new Church shift outward. In one sentence, the talk – all they had read and learned – becomes the walk, as they now begin to put the words into practice. The mandate that Jesus had left behind, to love God and to love each other, now becomes the mission of the early Church. See, this first generation of Christ-followers quickly recognized that whatever they did together when they met inside the temple courts was meaningless, unless it was followed by action outside their walls.
We’re standing at the threshold of a unique moment in our world’s history. I’ve heard a lot of people say that moving forward, we’ll refer to life as “pre-COVID-19” and “post-COVID-19”, and I don’t see that as a bad thing! We’ve been given a brand new opportunity to “be the Church” with skin on, not just to one particular population or group of people, but to an entire globe that’s desperate for the hope only God can provide. Friends, we can’t go back, and praise God for that! The specifics of our mission-field may look different now and in the coming months and years than they did even at the beginning of 2020, but the mandate remains the same. God’s given us an opportunity to be the Church, and to bring love in action to the hurting.
Who is God prompting you to “be the Church” to in this season? Write down their name(s). Then pray over those who God’s put on your heart, and ask Him to reveal ways that you can demonstrate the love of Christ to them. If you commit to making the mandate of Jesus your personal mission, I can promise that it won’t only change the lives of those you’re seeking to bless – it will change your life, too!