This week I’m continuing a new sermon series on “The Church at Its Best.” As I take my place at Oak Hill amid a global pandemic, economic insecurity, and racial unrest, I want us to spend a few weeks reflecting on what “the Church” looks like when we are living at our best.
I do so fully knowing that for many people, “The Church” has become irrelevant. When asked about their religious affiliation, 20% of Americans identify as “none of the above.” They do not identify as part of any religious tradition. 35% of millennials (people born 1981-1996) do not identify with any religious tradition.
Disinterest in so-called “organized religion” is part of a larger trend. Our American culture has grown increasingly distrustful of institutions. Many of us increasingly view institutions (government, corporations, even schools) with skepticism.
Yet I believe that “The Church” and this church (Oak Hill UMC) have something unique to offer the world.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul casts a vision for what “The Church” looks like at its best. Despite quarrels and divisions, Paul reminds us that “The Church” matters in this world. Built upon the foundation of God’s Love in Christ, “The Church” (not the building, but the people) is holy. We become a dwelling place for the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
Join us this week as we listen for what “The Church” and this church (Oak Hill) look like when we are living at our best, our very best.