The greatest need for Christians today is connection. We are the BODY of Christ, not stand-alone Christians.
27 Stop listening to instruction, my child, and you will stray from the words of knowledge [spoken by other members of the body of Christ].
We need each other. I think each of us knows that we do; the problem is that we don’t realize how much. Christians didn’t think up corporate worship. God did. Ever since He called the Hebrew children to Himself (Leviticus 8:1-4), He has been calling His children to gather in His name. In fact, God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Jesus Himself promised, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20.
What is so important about meeting together? Paul broke it down for us in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; we will look at specific verses.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Paul states in Ephesians 1:22-23 that Christ is the head over everything for the church, which is His body. It is how He fills everything in every way in this world. Christ is reaching the world through His church, His body–us!
14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Each of us is unique, just like pieces in a puzzle. We each fit in a certain place in that puzzle. Without each one of us, the puzzle picture is not complete. I know that the entire picture will not be complete until we are all with Jesus in heaven, but until then, He is working on certain portions of the puzzle, the part where we fit in.
18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
The Lord has taken great care to place each of us where we are: A particular family in a particular time and place in a particular church with the people in that church. He has us there for a reason, both for ourselves and for others, just as He wants us to be.
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
It is for this reason that we congregate each week: If one part is suffering, the entire body suffers. The same goes for rejoicing. We cannot live as islands; we are CONNECTED by the Holy Spirit. It is He who forms us into one body for Christ and with Christ.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
We each have our roles to play. We don’t even have to know how; our presence can be enough for Christ to use us in building up His church. The key is our presence, our being there physically. The church really does suffer when we as individuals are not there. I can’t explain it; it’s just a phenomenon of being part of the body of Christ. Don’t believe your presence is important? Consider this:
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
We need each other because we spur each other on toward love and good deeds. It’s that simple. We each have a task: Assemble. Most of us assemble one-two times a week, maybe three. But, what about prayer times with other Christians? What about Bible studies with other followers? Have you considered getting involved in one of these? Assembling is what God calls us to do. If we are faithful followers, then we will do as He commands. He calls us to Himself. He will meet with us in a unique way every time we gather in His name.
Abba, I pray that my readers will consider very seriously their commitment to gathering with You at church, whether it’s in the main service or in a smaller group. This topic is not one on which we can skimp. Our attendance is required. Help us to realize the importance of it and then recognize Your hand when You are moving in our midst. Do something special, Abba; do something amazing in our congregations! Amen.