May 11, 2009
What if Jesus Walked in Your Church?
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name,
I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:20 (NAS)
Singing in the worship band gives me a unique viewpoint of our church on Sundays. On my assigned weeks, I stand on stage waiting for the service to begin. People are still filing in as the pre-recorded music stops and the worship leader steps up to the microphone to welcome the congregation. The lights dim as the tap of the drumsticks signal the band to begin.
Soon the swell of the music and a chorus of voices – young and old – fill the room. By the second song, the house lights are completely off and the only lights shining in the room are on us. Except for the back door. And that’s where I face.
Each time the door opens to let in latecomers, outside light shines brightly for a brief moment. From where I stand, it’s like a spot light. It’s so bright, and so far away, that I can’t see the faces of those who come in late. But every once in awhile I dream … sort of one of those awakening dreams. But this one feels real. I dream that Jesus walks in.
In my mind, I see Him walking up the aisle. No one notices Him because their eyes are focused on the words on the screen, or they are closed in worship. He slowly looks left then right. He keeps on walking toward the front. Finally, He reaches the steps below me and slowly ascends them. When He gets to the top of the stage, He turns to receive the worship that is being offered Him.
I wonder what Jesus feels as He looks out over the flock of people. Is He pleased? Is He frustrated that so many minds are on today’s lunch? Does He want to reach out and grab the hands that are raised in worship?
Sometimes I long to see Jesus walk in my church so desperately, I can feel my heart pound. Can you imagine what would happen? Can you imagine how people would grab their friends with diseases and go running toward Him? Can you imagine parents carrying their hurting children to Him? The press of people would be intense. Those with addictions, emotional hurts and illnesses would stretch out their hands just to touch Him. People would drop to their knees in adoration.
Before I “awake” and realize it is only a dream, I remember the words of Jesus: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20). And I realize that Jesus has come to my church. He is there to receive my worship. He is there to touch the hands of the broken hearted. He longs to heal those who are hurting.
Unfortunately, many times I’m simply hoping that God will “show up.” As if He might be too busy to stop by my church that day. Yet by Jesus’ very own words, He is already there. My waking dream is a reality. Maybe Jesus doesn’t stand next to me, but He’s in the room. I need that truth to soak into my heart every time I gather with other believers.
The same Jesus who healed the blind man and raised the dead, has come to our church this week.
Dear Lord, thank You for the amazing reality of Jesus. Thank You that I can count on Your Word to be true, and for You to be present whenever two or more believers are gathered. Help me to really understand what this means, and to have this truth revitalize my worship and prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Worship: Nearing the Heart of God by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer
Take a few moments and close your eyes. In your mind, picture your church sanctuary and Jesus walking in and sitting down next to you before the service starts. Imagine Him saying, “Hello” and wrapping His arms around you. Just enjoy that feeling for a moment.
How would our church services, or small group meetings, change if Jesus were physically present in the room?
If Jesus was coming to your church this Sunday, who would you bring? What would you ask Him to heal?
Matthew 14:14, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” (NIV)
Mark 2:2, “So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 11 May 2009.