Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25, ESV)
Faith is not lived in a vacuum. God has called us to life together. The redemption that Jesus won on the cross was so that we would be reconciled with God. It was also so that we could be reconciled with one another and live in harmony.
The community that God calls us to is the Church. The Church is not a building. It is not an event we attend. The Church is the assembly of God’s people. The New Testament Greek word for church is translated “gathering.”
We are called to fellowship. But fellowship is something that is terribly misunderstood in the church. We have “fellowship events.” This might be going to a church night at the local minor league ballpark. It might be the church bowling league. It might be a potluck dinner. These are good things to do and are part of what it means to be in fellowship, but there is more that makes fellowship.
There are two parts to that word. There is “fellow” and there is “ship.” I want you to picture a ship. There are people on the ship. All the people in the boat are going to the same place. That is the idea of fellowship. We are fellows in a ship that share a common destination. If the ship should sink, we will all sink. If the ship should arrive at the port, we will all arrive at the port.
A Christian without a church is like a sailor without a ship. The sailor will not get far without a boat with other sailors. We are working together to reach a common destination. God does not call us to go alone. We get there together. And it is important to recognize that it is more about the journey and the people we share the journey with than it is about the destination.
You are part of something bigger than yourself
It’s not about YOU! It’s about Jesus. Jesus is glorified when his people do life together in unity and love. I think about the old Sunday School song where we sang, “They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love.”
Keep in mind the church is not perfect. It is flawed. Sometimes deeply flawed! There will be times when we disappoint each other. But that is the opportunity for us to practice grace and forgiveness. It is the opportunity to show that God’s mercy and grace have truly entered into our lives.
This is Maundy Thursday. On this night Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. Another name for this meal is communion. What joins us together is the forgiveness Jesus won on the cross. It’s bigger than anyone of us and we are joining into that when we participate in this meal.
We can do more together
A big reason God calls us to community is because we can do more together than we can do alone. I have shared with you about an effort to provide 80,000 meals for children in Haiti. Our original goal was 20,000. But after seeing people come together to make this happen, we realize we could do even more. We quadrupled the effort. More children will now be fed!
This is a testimony to the power of community! I am grateful for this community called Greater Things Today. We have 13,000 people who receive these emails on a daily basis. God is using this community in amazing ways.
On a final note, our church in New Jersey is hosting prayer vigil starting at 8 pm this evening. If you would like us to pray for you, please share your prayer the prayer request page. We will be glad to pray for you. Please pray for us as well.
- Why is living in community hard?
- Do you think you can live as a faithful Christian outside the church?
- Share your prayer request.