Letters to Jesus (Church, Religion, and Sacraments)-14
Authentic worshipers worship the Father in spirit and in truth. [John, 4:23]. Would I be wrong in surmising that this statement of Yours ignores religious denominations and downplays institutionalized religion? Sometimes I think the word church in translations has, in retrospect, become the appellation for what we now consider religion. I sometimes also think that what You intended to give us was a movement, a philosophy of life rather than an institutionalized code of practice. Such an idea transcends church and denomination as we understand them.
In the sense that we understand the word church, there was no such thing in Your time. Hence, there was probably no word for it. The word ecclesia in Latin or Greek forms was used and later translated into the English word church. But I wondered what the original word was in Hebrew or Aramaic that You used when You said to Peter [Matt. 16:18] that You would, on this rock, build Your church? So, I did a little research and found that the word You used was probably quahalwhich meant a fellowship or movement of believers in common; in which case what You taught us and showed us about life and about our relationship with the Father and with each other transcends denominations. No matter what we have done to segment and categorize Christianity, no matter whether we’re Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker, or Holy Roller authentic worshipers worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
We must seek alone the spiritual nature of our being through which You whisper encouragement and love. We must seek it in ourselves and in others who, themselves, may be seeking it in us. We must, as well, seek what is the truth about ourselves in relation to You, and about Your unconditional love for us. Doing these things, no matter what denomination we choose in which to do them, is all that’s important. In Your great love for every sheep in Your flock I feel that You would welcome with open arms authentic worshipers who worship the Father in spirit and in truth – even those who might not be nominally Christian.