My answer is always the same: Galileo Galilei.
I love that dude.
His name alone is epic.
Philosopher. Mathematician. Astronomer. Physicist.
Einstein called him "The Father of Modern Science."
He invented the telescope, for gosh sakes.
But here's what I love most about him:
Before he (and a guy named Copernicus) came onto the scene, the scientific community operated under the false assumption that the universe revolved around the Earth. (This belief is called geocentrism. There's your random fact of the day.) Everyone's calculations were all out of whack, and no one could understand why. Then 'Pernicus and 'Leo said, "Slow that roll. Y'all have got it all wrong. The universe doesn't circle the Earth! The Earth (and the rest of our Solar System) circles the Sun! WutWut?!?" And then the human race sent a couple guys to walk on the moon. More or less.
I would love to sit down with 'Leo and ask him: How? How did you know to question the very basis for all stellar calculations? And more importantly, after you questioned it - and proved it wrong - how did you go about changing the minds of the entire world?
I want to know because we have our own version of geocentrism masquerading as a fact in the American Church.
It goes something like this:
My life's priorities should be...We operate (and make our daily calculations) around the assumption that our lives - our family, our jobs, our volunteer efforts, our passions - are central. And the Church must fit into and around those priorities.
First - God.
Second - Family.
Third - Work.
Fourth (or Tenth) - Church
And so on and so forth...
But let's take a look at what Scripture says in Ephesians 1:23(MSG)
"The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ's body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence."Did you catch that? Everything we do. Our life. Our world. It's all peripheral to the Church.
We think like this: We are moms. We are wives. We are employees. We are volunteers. We are home makers. And we go to church.
When scripture tells us it's more like this: We are the church. And in being the church, we fulfill our rolls as moms, wives, employees, volunteers, or homemakers.
It's not that church comes first in our long list of priorities. It's that church is a part of every single thing we do. It's who we are.
Galileo's discovery changed the course of humankind. It changed our most basic calculations, and thereby shaped our history. It mattered.
But why does it matter that the world is actually peripheral to the church, and not (as we have assumed) further down in a long list priorities?
Let's look at the second part of that verse:
"The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ's body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence."Did you catch that? Do you see it?
How will human trafficking be stopped? Through the Church.
How will addictions be broken and families restored? Through the Church.
How will adoption overtake abortion? Through the Church.
How will the hungry in our world be fed? The homeless find homes? The lost and hurting find redemption and healing?
It's all through the Church.
Because it's all through Christ. And "the church is Christ's body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence."
So let's bring it home.
How will your marriage be strengthen and restored?
How will your family find peace and joy?
How will you battle depression?
How will you make a difference with your life?
How will you raise Godly children in a world stacked against them?
It's all through the Church, y'all.
And not just attending on Sunday mornings. The change starts when we begin to live this verse, when our world becomes peripheral to the Church. When we stop saying "I'm serving at the church instead of spending time with my family" and we start saying, "I'm spending time with my family by serving with them at the church."
So what can you do this week to start making that shift? What is your next step? If you don't have a local church where you are planted, maybe start by attending one this Sunday morning. If you are faithfully attending a local church, find a place to serve. Change a diaper. Clean a toilet. Make coffee. Open doors. Do something. Get connected.
And if you are already planted in a church and serving faithfully, what is your next step? Can you tell someone about how it changed your life? Can you encourage someone to take their next step? Can you start the Galileo Effect in your local church? (We will chat about this over coffee later...)
Comment below and let us know what step you plan to take this week in making the Church central to your world.