United Church of Christ

A Revelation Revisited

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. - Revelations 21:22 (NRSV)

Whenever we get to the line "welcome into this broken vessel" in the song "Welcome into this Place," I tap over my heart, offering it as a dwelling place to God.

Something about this song, each and every time I hear it, reminds me that I am called to be the Church in the world. We are the Church!

In these times, the world is looking to see—and then judge—how the Church shows up in moments of deep pain, fierce hate, and wild politics. Rightly so. Too many churches have become weekly destinations, or a means to a preferred final destination, and less a daily way of practicing God's love, justice, welcome, healing, and grace.

Gratefully, it is not too late to live into our role as a resurrection people: alive, ready and called to spread the Good News. To be good news through our serving, and in our loving, and by our building of the beloved community. Each moment, each day, everywhere we go, and with all whom we meet.

Revelations 21:22 reminds us that we have never needed a physical building in order to find God in our midst.  God abides within us.

It is good to remember these things.

We do not need a structure and a steeple to be the Church today. Just as Jesus was God's living, moving, disrupting love-made-flesh, we too are the embodiment of God's purpose, promise and power at work in the world.

Prayer

God of new possibilities and unlimited imagination, help us to be the Church where you abide and your love is made known to all. May we carry you in our hearts and reveal your power, grace, and justice with our hands. Amen.

About the Author
Marilyn Pagán-Banks serves as Pastor of San Lucas UCC, Executive Director of A Just Harvest and Adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

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