One of the hardest things to do is to keep a new habit strong and effective in our lives.
Over the centuries, one way has been discovered and re-discovered over and over again. It’s the power of fellowship around a common purpose and vision.
Business has learned this. Schools, non-profits and even governments have learned of its strength and taken advantage of its truth.
Churches would seem to have a single purpose: Jesus Christ. And we would appear to have lots of regular "meetings." But too often we do not pay that much attention to what we are doing. We easily lose our sense of common unity and power of being the body of Christ.
In our current season of terrorism, natural disasters and a general feeling that our society is drifting in the wrong direction, it becomes all the more important to seek out the bed rock ideals and understandings that we hold.
When we have a strong sense of who we are before God, it becomes easier to accept others, not be threatened by them or by new ideas. We are able to listen better, prayerfully evaluate and seek God’s holy will together.
We become a strong and healthy body of believers, willing to follow the Lordship of Christ.
Our time of “stewardship” is an important time for this process to happen. (See the previous article on stewardship.)
We pause in our church schedule to consider all the blessings that God has provided us, even in the midst of trial and struggle.
We then look seriously at what it means to live together, to provide a place of worship, education for our children, inspiring music, important mission and outreach activities.
And then we commit to each other for another year. We place our gifts and blessing on the altar-table before God and we ask God to guide us in all our actions and decisions (especially as a gathered church.)
And so we take another step together on the spiritual journey that God challenged us with. We surround each other with support and encouragement and Christian fellowship.
The journey with Christ is the most exciting and challenging journey you will ever take. It will push you to your limits and then take you beyond. You will meet people you never would have sought out. You will change not only your own life, but also the lives of many people around you.
Open up your heart to God’s challenge. Join a group, become part of a study. Plan to be regular in worship.
Let Christ not only heal and strengthen you, but lead you into a new way of living, a new adventure of life.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Terry Van Hook