“Wow! I’ve never paid attention…our church’s building is so beautiful!” Pepe had just arrived to church with his parents, but he decided to linger outside for a few more minutes enjoying the warm breeze.
While admiring the building, he started talking to himself, “I bet God is happy with so many people coming to church. I wonder what He thinks about the uniforms…”
“The uniforms?” The Three Musketeers asked laughing—while making themselves visible—even though they knew what Pepe was referring to.
“Well, you know,” started Pepe, “the priest at Margarita’s church wears a robe, our pastor wears just a collar, and Jason’s preacher wears a suit!”
“Oh Pepe,” The Father lovingly smiled, “what really matters, more than how the church leaders dress, or how well they speak, or what causes they support, is for them to follow my Word. You know, we wrote a whole book that tells you—among other things—how to act. It’s like a compass, it gives you the direction we want you to follow.”
“The Bible, right?” Pepe interrupted.
“Yes, the Bible,” Jesus responded. “Many see the church as a club and don’t pay attention to our book. Some have even changed its contents, or just see the Bible as an obsolete, made up story,” Jesus said with sadness in his eyes. Then He reminded Pepe, “The sky and the earth won’t last forever, but my words will.” [Matthew 24:35]
“So, it’s not about how many people attend church or how the leaders dress, but it’s about our Spirit in people’s hearts. We’re only present in churches where people follow our Word and therefore our Spirit lives,” added the Father.
“I remember a Bible quote about God’s Spirit!” Pepe said in excitement. “God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled…” [Galatians 5:22-23]
“Excellent!” cheered the Holy Spirit. “Now, why do you think is good for you to come to church, Pepe?
“Is this a test? I’m not ready!” Pepe complained.
“We’d like to hear your thoughts,” the Musketeers answered in unison.
“Okay,” Pepe admitted, “I can meet other kids that love you, I can pray or sing to you with them too, I can learn your Word…” Pepe was stuck and didn’t know what else to say.
“Great!” cheered the Father. “You know that by belonging to Christ, you’re part of our family and therefore you’re surrounded by your brothers and sisters.”
“Wow, I have a big family!” Pepe felt happy.
Then Jesus added, “Faithfully attending church week after week is also a way for our word to be sown in your soul for your spiritual growth. Just remember how much you practice over and over for your swimming team too, you do that in order to win.”
“Cool! I’ve never thought of it that way!” Pepe exclaimed, but he was beginning to get nervous. “Oh, I better go inside. I don’t want to be late!”
As Pepe walk to the door, the Holy Spirit whispered in his heart, “Remember, be aware of false teachers…they’re bad wolves teaching error and will confuse you and the whole church…awooo! The Bible will be your shield against them.”
“Are you howling like a wolf? You’re so funny!” Pepe felt so loved and protected.
This story is based on ideas from the Bible: Ephesians 1:22-23 1 Peter 5:1-4 Luke 13:26-27