Session Devotion from Elder Jane Shear
May 22, 2019
Sunday, May 19, 2019 Elder Jane Shear gave the following devotion and reflection on confirmation from earlier that day.
Growing up, I really loved almost everything about church—it was Sunday School; it was sitting in the balcony with my friends during the service; it was MYF. But I’m pretty sure I did not consider my friends or myself the church because, as we all knew, the church was the building.
Then, not as an “ah ha moment”, but rather as a seeping, creeping feeling, I realized the church was me. It was my husband, my sons, my friends, my extended family. It was all of us who loved God, who knew Jesus, who were filled with the Holy Spirit.
The church is the people, not the building. With the affluence of Christianity in later years, the “church” came to mean the building where people met. Now, it often is used to mean a particular denomination. But the truest meaning of the word “church” is the group of believers. It is all of us sitting around this table. It is the 8 confirmands studying & developing a deeper understanding of their faith and today being welcomed into full membership in our church.
The church is not a building; it is a group of people. It is not a denomination; it is everyone who has received the Holy Spirit. It is people, loving and glorifying God and teaching others about a saving knowledge of Christ.
People are the building blocks of the church. Jesus fed 5000 on a hillside 2000 years before the first Chick-Fil-A. There was no sanctuary, just Jesus speaking about God, then sharing a meal with those who gathered on the hillside.
So, what is church—people gather, share, remember their Savior, and live to tell others. Jesus is the head of the church and we are His church. What lucky folks we are!