Wednesday, July 20, 2011

meeting together . . .

Hebrews 10:24-25: "And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
There is simply no substitute for Christian Community. We always need reminding of that. Part of our human condition is a temptation to try to "go it alone." We want to be our own masters. We want to call the shots for our lives. And, if we are honest with ourselves, sometimes we just don't want to be bothered by others and their problems.
But there is no substitute for Christian Community. We need the Church. We need to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter how immature, petty, or bothersome they may sometimes seem to us. There is something that happens when we live life together that cannot be achieved on a solo spiritual journey. In fact, in the Christian faith, there is no such thing as a "solo spiritual journey." Following Jesus involves walking with other Christians.
Unfortunately, in my lifetime, I have seen many "good" people simply fall away from Christian Community. They all had different reasons and some sounded pretty logical on the surface. But in every case, their spiritual life was handicapped by a refusal to participate in Christian Community.
It's not always easy to practice Christian Community, but that's why we call it "practice." Living in Christian Community always necessitates prayer, forgiveness, and an amount of grace that can only come from Jesus Christ.
But there's simply no other way to follow Jesus without Christian Community. If you've "fallen away" from the fellowship of Christian Community, why not reconnect today? Call one of your sisters and brothers in the faith and ask them how it's going. Better yet, share some prayer concerns and pray together. Reach out to someone and take church to someone who cannot come to the church building any more. And don't forget to worship together this coming Sunday.
There is simply no substitute for Christian Community.