To the church of God that is in Corinth... to all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...
"Are you going to church?" That's the kind of question we might ask of a Christian friend as we walk towards the church on a Sunday. But what do we mean when we say 'the church'? A building? A gathering of Christians? A denomination? We use the word in a variety of ways.
In the early days of Christianity, there were no church buildings. Buildings came along much later, and can be a great blessing, but sometimes a great burden.
But what do we mean by 'the church'? The most important thing about the Bible's word for church is something we probably don't really think of at all when we ask a question like, "Are you going to church?" The first reason why we go to church is because God calls us together and he calls us together to hear his word. When we go to church, it is like answering a summons from God. That gives us a very important reason for 'going to church' - God is calling us.
When Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth he wrote in such a way that reminded them they were but a part of a much bigger community — wherever Christians come together to hear God's word, they are the church. We are members of a worldwide family.
Dear Lord, help me to value the church family of which I am a part. Amen.