Behind the business park where I work is a ragged forest. Not much of a forest really. Mostly low brush, scraggly naked trees shivering against the winter cold, and scattered patches of mud.
And a homeless encampment. Peering through the trees, you can spot signs of life. A white plastic chair, a blue tarp tent, wooden pallet flooring to protect from the mud.
I believe if Jesus were here, rather than hang out at the church down the road, He’d go into the homeless encampment. I believe for Jesus, church is not a building, church is not a place. Church is hanging out with homeless people. Church is wherever you are. Church is the Spirit of Jesus within you. Church is you.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? … for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22)
“But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” (Hebrews 3:6)