Michael Horton on what makes the church “the church.”
Very good. All of my love and appreciation to everyone who ministers in Word and Sacrament. It is telling that in Philip Schaff's History of the Christian Church when he identifies the focus of Ante-Nicene worship he doesn't pick the preaching(as we Reformed like to) or the music or any of the liturgy(as the modern squishy Evangelicalism would) he picks the Communion of the Saints, the sharing in the death of Christ through the physical elements.
I always like to think of it this way. When I preach, in the ideal situation, the Gospel goes from my mouth, into ears, into the understanding, and from their into the heart. But there are so many ways that that gets derailed. If you are tired, or can't hear well, or don't understand for whatever reason, or my kids are making a racket, or I pick words that aren't helpful to you, or just get it wrong, or 1000 other things happen the process breaks down. But Christ has given us a better way, He preaches the Gospel where it is accessible to every human being. He fills hungry stomachs and wets thirsty mouths so that everyone who comes can taste and see that Christ provides for our needs. So, on this Lord's Day, Be Hungry for the spiritual food.
Really, really well said. You’ve captured some of my exact thoughts, part of the reason I left a megachurch to seek a smaller congregation. I had to check my heart and reorient my purposes, because I wanted to go to church seeking Christ, more than production.