I rarely divulge in careless ‘love’ language, but I can happily say that I love my church. Why the sudden revelation?

Surprisingly, it has taken me many years to love a church, never mind love the family fellowship that is the Body of Christ.

One needs to reflect on our existence on earth that leads one to reflect on their love for Christ Jesus as their LORD and Saviour.

In the beginning, we witness the Holy Trinity and the LORD’s desire to create and love us, for we were the only creatures on earth created in His image. Fast-forward to the life of Jesus’ ministry and an important command that Jesus gave to us was to love one another.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. -John 13:34-35 (NLT)

And so it begins, we are commanded to love one another. But how does one begin to express love to other beings of creation? I do not have the scientific or biological understanding of the human emotions and connective cells that trigger and release chemicals and electrons in our human body stream that expresses such love, but quite simply – we were designed to love.

To love a church is tad different. People often think a church is a physical building that is in need of renovation, but a local church is one of many parts that form the spiritual realm that is the Body of Christ. It is the gathering of Christ followers from around the world, a sanctuary of God’s people. I often refer to these like-minded people as brothers and sisters on Christ.

People themselves are of different backgrounds, shapes and sizes, but they all share a unique personal testimony to how they came to know Christ Jesus as LORD and Saviour. In response to God’s love, there is a heartfelt response to love each other – the way God loves us.

There are folk who come from varied church backgrounds. Some have busy or quiet families. Others are married to partners or spouses. There is typically a good number of folk, who have yet to hear the Good News and the redemption of sin. There’s also a bunch of singles, whose voices are often silenced by the marriage classes or children’s ministry. Now, don’t forget the elderly and their pillars of prayers, and the precious pearls of life experience and Godly wisdom. There’s also a rise of individuals who seek biblical recovery and refuge in a safe and welcoming environment.

I’ve only addressed briefly a modern demographic audience of a typical Scottish congregation. I know people vary in each physical church building, but the Church that is the Body of Christ is ever growing and the ministries vary upon demand.

Coming from a background without siblings, I have found the concept of community a bit of a social hindrance, because of my quiet nature.

Nonetheless, I now appreciate the corporate worship in songs of praise, the hearing of the Living Word, the communal minds and hearts of Christ during prayers, and the fellowship and encouragement with brothers and sisters in Christ – all in Christian love.

A Christian community can only be sustained by God’s enduring love and our obedience to live out the Scriptures in Word, action and faith, as we long to worship and praise our Heavenly Father.

~Richard