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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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SALUTING THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

Several years ago Buddy Chisholm of Swartz, LA, wrote the following in a church bulletin article: "Recently on a game show a wife was asked what one thing would have to be on the moon before her husband would go there. Her quick reply, 'The church of Christ, and I'd be right behind him.' When the husband returned he was asked the same question. His reply was, 'The church!' " I don't know the couple Brother Chisholm was referring to, but their response to the question displays a great love for the church of the Lord! It is right to love the church! She is, after all, the body and bride of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25ff;  Colossians 1: 18). It is not only right to love the church of Christ, it is Christ-like to love her! Ephesians 5:25 reminds us Jesus loved the church so much He gave Himself for her. Acts 20:28 pounds our hearts with the penetrating truth that the church was purchased at the supreme cost of the blood of Christ! No matter what her human weaknesses are, the church is loved by Jesus Christ. He has big and bold plans for her! He will someday meet her, not on the moon, but way beyond the moon in the glory of Heaven itself (see Ephesians 5:26-27)!

Romans 16:16 (King James Version) was penned by a man who loved the church of Christ! In that beautiful verse the apostle Paul wrote to Christians living at first century Rome: "Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you." In this verse of Scripture Paul is telling Christians at Rome that every congregation or assembly of Christians where he is (likely Corinth) sends greetings to the church in Rome. Almost everybody expects the church of Christ to salute them. Routinely people expect the church to be there for them in times of joy and celebration and times of grief and need, and rightly so, for we are to, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15). We would not be the body of Christ if we stopped caring and sharing in people's lives, good times and bad. But another question must be raised from time to time - how often do you salute the church of Christ? We salute her when we are faithful to her assemblies (Hebrews 10:25); when we are actively involved in her program of worship, work and fellowship (Acts 2: 3 2); when we are supportive of her mission and task of preaching the gospel to all the world (Mark 16:15-16). The church of Christ continues to salute you by serving as the body of Christ. What are you doing to salute the church of Christ?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ