Disappointments can come in many forms and you better get used to experiencing them since they are pretty consistent throughout life. They start at childhood with mommy not being able to buy you a motorized bicycle due to budget limitations all the way to becoming an adult and not being able to purchase your new Ferarri for the same reason. Life is full of disappointments. There is a disappointment that is less of a major concern but that happens more frequently than we would like and that is the famous no show. How many times have you made plans with someone and your meeting gets high jacked at the last minute. Sound familiar? Things happen in life that may cause a person to scratch you out of their calendar because life is just as unpredictable as people are.
There is one person however that makes plans to be with us on a regular basis that you can rest assured will never fail to “show up”. This rendezvous happens every Sunday when Christians gather together. That person is none other than Jesus Christ. Christ has promised to us before His ascension into the Heavens that He would be present with His Church whenever they meet together. This may be in the form of worship, decision making or discipline (Matthew 18:20) What Christ was referring to is that His presence would be with them whenever they meet since He would never leave them nor forsake them. This is a magnificent blessing that serves as a wonderful encouragement to Christians. What a joy to know that when we get together as God’s covenant people that we have the promise that the Covenant head will be present.
This brings us to another point on the subject of ecclesiastical contentment. We previously said that for a Christian to find ecclesiastical contentment that they would need to find a church that is theocentric and pursues theocentric worship. In addition to thinking theocentrically, we must also pursue a church that is Christocentric. Our ecclesiastical contentment must be centered around Christ and His presence in the church. There is only one problem and that is that the majority of people just don’t understand this or more frequently they simply don’t seem to believe it. Let me explain…
It would be one of the most fascinating Kodak moments to be able to take a photo of a Christian’s face should he/she enter into a church and sitting in the front pew was the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh. At first there would be a certain amount of shock involve but I’m convinced that for Christians who truly know their Lord, there would be a certain awe and reverence from those who laid eyes on the Son of God in person or at least we should hope so. I believe His presence in the church would have an effect like no other. Look at what happened at Patmos! The sheep of the shepherd would awestruck to be able to gaze their eyes upon their Saviour and the Lord. Seeing Jesus, face to face, in the flesh, in person, would improve the worship service like nothing else. Our hymns would be sung with greater care and passion, the preaching would be taken seriously and made to raise our hearts to the glory of God and believe it or not we would be eager to stay afterwards for the fellowship and not just for free food. People would be focused upon Him and the joy of Him being there. The physical presence of Christ would cause us to approach God with true heartfelt awe and reverence. Ah yes, that again.
Now, if the physical presence would have that effect on worshipers then why on earth doesn’t the spiritual presence have that same outcome? I believe I answered this question in my above statement; people just don’t get this or simply don’t seem to believe it. They come to church but don’t worship as if the Son of God is there. The bible states that Christ is present at the worship meeting on Sundays or whenever 2-3 people who are in the church meet or get together to bear witness. He’s there on Sunday mornings! He’s there during the week during the prayer meeting or during our weekly bible study! How many people in the churches sing with the same passion or preach with the same power or pray with the same fervor or fellowship with the same enthusiasm as if the Lord Jesus is spiritually present in the same way as if He was physically present? Think how content you, as a Christian, would be to go to this church. Churches need to recognize that the Son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is actually there! We must come to an understanding that Jesus Christ’s presence is the foundation behind meeting together and if we desire to be a Christocentric Church then we need to embrace this. Otherwise, if Christ is not deemed as present or if our worship does not reflect His presence then we simply don’t believe it. If Christ’s presence is not the centrality of the church then who exactly is.
Have you my reader ever pondered this? When you get together with others on Sunday morning to worship your God, are things conducted with an expression and passion as to acknowledge that He is present? Look around! The next time you get together as a corporate people, think about it! Let’s consider whether we Worship Him with fear and reverence or as if the Lord Jesus never showed up.