Monday, October 16, 2006

Not Alone

Here is one I came across last week...

There is hardly a human need stronger than the need to belong. We were created this way. Every one of us came out of a womb screaming for warmth, companionship, and someone else’s heartbeat. We were rudely ripped out of that idyllic existence and thrust into a cold, impersonal, lonely world. (No wonder babies cry.) And the rest of our lives are spent trying to find that intimacy again. Everyone knows this feeling because everyone has had the same experience once – being so close that our mother’s heartbeat was a constant presence – and everyone knows that reuniting with others is somehow a part of our common purpose in life. No man is an island.

Is it any wonder Jesus prayed, “My prayer for all of them [his disciples and us] is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father – that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:21 NLT)

We were made to be together. We often think only in terms of our own spiritual lives and forget the fact that God is saving a people to come together for his glory. Salvation is not just an individual matter; it’s a corporate thing – it plugs us into everyone else in the Body of Christ. It is when the church functions as a whole that we give evidence to who we really are. We are the Body of Christ, not the Individual of Christ. Not one of us can reflect, alone, what that body is. His will is expressed in all of us together.

Together we are the bride of Christ. (My grammar checker doesn’t like that last sentence because this concept challenges even our language. Since when is “bride” plural?) I am not the bride; you are not the bride. We are only the bride in completion with all other believers in history and in the world. This is all part of God’s plan to bring us back together where we can hear each other’s heartbeat and experience the oneness that Jesus has with the Father and desires to have with us. Jesus prayed that we would be all wrapped together in oneness with him – us in Christ, and Christ in the Father.

So what does this mean for you and me today? It means we are not alone. We know where we belong. We need to give priority to our relationships with other believers because who we are depends on it. Check your calendar; arrange some lunches. Time put into people is time committed to God and his purposes.

--By John Fischer

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