The Power of Christ’s Presence
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness….” John 1:14 NLT
“All the believers were together and had everything in common… They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:44, 46-47
I’ve gotten to know well Susan and David Leya, and Susan’s brother Wayne Deutch, who all come regularly to CCDC. Susan drives an IPS school bus and David works at Carvana. Wayne is not employed. They share their lives and what is going on in our community that struggles with crime and drugs. I’ve really been touched listening to their personal sharing and helping them to know how much I care about them, and I hope to bring the presence of Christ to them.
It may seem that what we do at CCDC is small and insignificant in making any difference to impact the immense problems of our inner city. Outwardly it doesn’t look like much. Yet, this is the way Christ calls us to change the world. Christ’s way of transforming people is with his living presence. John’s Gospel tells us that God brought about his salvation of the world by having his Son enter the world and share his presence. He “made his home” with us. Wow! Can you believe Jesus moved in with us?
The Church in the Book of Acts actually believed this. They believed when they met together, not only at the Temple but in their homes, Jesus was there with them. New people came into their homes and were transformed by Jesus’ living presence. This is how “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
CCDC is founded on the belief that Christ meets with us when we meet together. Jesus promised, “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20 NLT
Most Christians think Jesus is a private belief, a personal relationship, a private experience, something we fit in somewhere in our busy schedule. We drop into a church service and occasionally work to say a prayer or read our Bible . We fail to realize that community is where our lives as disciples make all the difference. Certainly, Jesus is with us as individuals, but his promise is to be with us as we gather together in his name. Jesus manifests his presence there in ways that powerfully move us to grow spiritually.
The Christian Faith does not need church buildings. They’re nice, they’re a blessing, but not essential. In fact, they can become a distraction or even an idol. They can become a replacement for community. We need only the presence of Christ. For the first three centuries, Christians had no church buildings. But they had community. They had Jesus and they turned the world upside down. CCDC, I admit, doesn’t look like it’s turning the world upside down. Neither did the Church in the Book of Acts. Never discount what the presence of Christ can do.
Come join us and experience the love Christ brings as we build a community of faith.
Next month beginning May 5th we will return to indoor dining and have again the ability to sense the presence of Christ around tables. What will the power of Christ’s presence do? I look forward to seeing lives transformed.
May God’s peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley