I had two important meetings today. One was with local pastors and ministry leaders. The other was with local worship ministry leaders. As I participated and observed the way we interacted, the words spoken to one another, the encouragements, the hand-shakes, hugs, prayers and songs, I came to this conclusion:
We need one another… more than we probably realize.
Not living in community, not building relationships, not sharing, not reaching out to one another – deprives us all of the fellowship God has designed us to experience. When you aren’t there (wherever that may be), you are missed. This is why we gather, and why we are encouraged to gather:
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
For believers, each time we choose to gather for worship, for meetings, for small groups, for coffee, for beers, or study – we are choosing to share in a sacred fellowship. And we speak into one another’s lives. We share wisdom. We may shed tears. We may sing songs. We may learn new things, or be reminded of things we’ve forgotten. We may argue. We may even choose to go separate ways (Acts 15, it’s not all roses). But we always know that we’re united in Christ with one heart and mission…
One of the portions of scripture that has impacted my life the most is 1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
Again, this verse reminds us of the deep sense of responsibility we have to one another. God’s character is reflected in us – we experience his love, his grace, his truth, compassion, kindness, patience. As we live in community with one another we practice our faith. I believe that it is in the context of doing life with one another that our faith becomes real.
I’m so thankful for the many people in my life who’ve given to me the gift of their time and presence in my life. I may not have “seen” God, but I sure have experienced him through the many lives that have touched mine.
Moral of the story: give of yourself, be humble and consider other people’s needs before your own – they need you in their lives (Phil. 2)