Be Present in the Lord's Body
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As the month of June draws to an end let us remember all who were mentioned in these emails, those who have come forward, and those who we know could use our prayers and active support.
A letter is a simple thing. It requires only the smallest of time taken out of our day yet it can be so powerful. It is through the letters of the apostles that we come to know our Lord and Savior so intimately. It is through these letters that we draw strength and encouragement. Paul was able to correct, praise, and chasten the growing and established churches around him. It allowed the apostles to keep in contact with each other, the brethren to be held accountable to one another under the teachings of Christ, and the body to remain as one.
A visit is a simple thing. How difficult it must be for us to muster the energy to spend time with one another and to comfort the ailing and struggling members that we know and love so much... I think not! I find such joy in being able to spend time with those of like mind and spirit; those who let Jesus guide their words and actions, and I hope you do too. I've said it many times (because I believe it to be undeniably true and truly undeniable) that you are only as close to those in the church as you effort to be.
The body of members making up the church are supposed to be one of the closest and most trusting relationships one can obtain. Chances are if you don't feel that close to anyone, if you don't have an honest desire to gather when the saints gather (worship, fellowship, and other), if you don't view the members of Christ as family, then the reality is that you probably aren't a part of that family. Sitting in a pew and cutting a check once a week Sunday mornings doesn't make you any more a member of Christ than the pharisees and scribes who "knew their bibles" better then most. That can change though. Its a simple decision to make God a priority in every aspect of our lives.
The parental mantra of "what would Jesus do?" while simple, is extraordinarily profound. Let that phrase permeate your consciousness in every decision you make and before long you'll find it easy and, I'll wager, enjoyable and rewarding. Don't be the one-a-week-christian, or the family that speeds out of service before anyone can say hi, or the people that sit in their pew until everyone is gone then leaves, or the person everyone is afraid to approach because they're always defensive and attack those who wish to know them. Don't leave Sunday morning after services, don't skip out on Wednesdays, don't miss the church picnics, the retreats, the seminars, the potlucks, the campfires, the canoe trips, the Friday night fellowships. The list goes on. I assure you nothing is more important than gathering with the brethren and worshiping our God; the grass can wait, the project can wait, your friends and family can wait, your hobbies can wait. Make it an uncompromising part of your day. Stay with us, grow with us, open up to us, and be among us. It is not an obligation; it is an honor and a privilege to meet with brethren, to fellowship with the family, to be about the work of our Lord. I encourage you all to read Matthew 25:31-46.
God bless you and may the love of Christ be in you.