Harmony in the Body of Christ…is journeying together…
Devotional:discussion thought of the Day…
28 And not to mention other things, every day I am under the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 When someone is weak, then I feel weak too; when someone is led into sin, I am filled with distress. 2 Corinthians 11:28-29 (TEV)
15 Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow. Romans 12:15 (NJB)
One of the biggest challenges I see in the church today, is our apathy towards interdependence. Whether it be within a congregation, or within a brotherhood of churches, we don’t function as one organism much any more, save in the political sphere. In my blog today, I want to address this – at the brotherhood/synod/denominational level.
I’ve heard little churches blast big churches, often for stealing their sheep, or doing things that seem condescending. I hear big churches complain about the return of investment that little churches have – and the only way some will offer help is if the little church turns the deed of their facility over to the big church. The idea of area churches meeting for a time of fellowship is almost unheard of now in our area, because we tend to be a bit paranoid. I will confess this as well, as I’ve the smiles I’ve seen when a pastor tells me about how some of my people are fitting into “his” church, I interpret as a smirk, or a subtle jab.
But if it is true that the way to revitalize a congregation is to actually bring the people together, and show them what they have in common – their needs, their brokenness, and Christ healing them, bringing them together, then this should be the way we get together as well. Not to iron out the differences, not to see who is willing to compromise or not, but rather, before the throne of God, the place where there is no division – we are all equally sinful, all equally needed, all equally blessed. W e won’t find unity just in a honest discussion of differences…
I love that Paul was willing to voice his concern – his care – his anxiety even, over those churches he knew. His comprehension of the interdependence, the sympathetic bind that caused what happens to one to affect all is incredible. The words sympathetic- not just as a …. emotional heart tug – but a simultaneous reaction to the pain, the sorrow, the grief over sin, the joy over new life. Like a body when the toe is stubbed, or we are bruised – the entire body reacts – so should it be with us. When we are praying with another, when we are at their side, or their at ours, as we beg Jesus for His mercy, His intercession – that is where harmony begins, that is where peace allows us to heal in ways our logic and strength cannot.
And as we are healing, as we are helping each other, praying with each other – then growth occurs, our defenses drop, our unity in Christ becomes manifest….
For we dwell in His peace…together.