Living in the Church – 7
The writer of Hebrews is encouraging a relational connection between believers that goes far deeper than any religious service can offer. He is talking about a network of relationships God builds between believers and how important it is to let others into our lives. Don’t go it alone, when we can be so helpful to each other.
Paul gives us some insight as to why in Ephesians. He said that the fullness of God is revealed in the whole of the body, not in the individual believer. We won’t know enough on our own nor have enough strength. But how do we live that out? By being a spectator in a large gathering, or by sharing our lives with fellow travelers who are coming to know His life?
Jesus made it clear that the most powerful moments of body life happen in twos and threes, not in groups of hundreds. It’s where people can be known for who they are, loved through their most desperate pain, and discover God’s presence with others.
The most powerful example of that in this century happened in China during the communist regime. As people were forced underground by persecution, they discovered the joy caring for one another. Cut of from the mainstream, freedom from religious traditions, one-man leadership, and those who were not completely sold-out to God. How God’s life grew among them is a legend. But are we listening to the lessons they learned during that time? No! We are too busy smuggling in our Christian programs so they can be more like us.
Circumstances forced them to embrace what the New Testament speaks so clearly. True body life cannot be embraced institutionally, it is the result of people who are passionately loving Father and learning how to live as a family with other brothers and sisters.
Sadly, many believers have never tasted that kind of body life, holding no greater view of ‘church’ life than to meet on Sunday, enjoy the performance and go back to their lives. However, when crisis hits and they need friendships to speak the life of God into their circumstances, no one is there for them.