When you hear or see the word “Church” I will be bold and say that the first thing that maybe comes into your head is a building or a place that people go on a Sunday? Or is it the Pope and Bishops or the Vatican in Rome? Unfortunately, most of the time we associate this word with a building or people in authority
The above image tells us something very different – the Church is not buildings, the Church is people. That is why you may have heard the phrase “people of God” – the Church is fundamentally united together through faith as one. St. Paul referred to it as the “Body of Christ.”
Essentially, we are the Church, each one of us, even you reading this article. And at the heart of the Church are relationships. Relationships built on the virtues of faith, trust, respect, care, kindness and love. This was key to Jesus’ ministry – building relationships with others so they could flourish and grow.
Boris Johnson announced last night that we are, essentially, on lockdown, which restricts our movements and physical contact with others. Although the image above is great, now we can’t really go out, we are not in our workplaces and there are limited reasons why we can go out.
So where is Church now? How do we become Church during this lockdown? We can be Church through the medium of our amazing and wonderful technology – pick up the phone and ring someone you have not had time to speak to lately; put kind words or inspirational quotes on your social media feeds that lifts people’s spirits; share your best funny images and videos in your WhatsApp groups; spend quality time with your children doing fun activities that you will all love doing together; get involved in a social media/online campaign to reach out to those marginalised as a result of this virus; and take time to pray with each other and for others, holding all those in your prayers who are being affected by this virus.
Caring for each other, sharing with each other, inspiring each other, loving each other, praying for each other. If this isn’t Church, I don’t know what is.