Give me a word, Lord: CHURCH AND COMMUNITY

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.

I Coronthians 12:18-20 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

I read a story last year about a young Amish man named Steven Yoder who was killed in a mill accident in New Wilmington, Pa . Steven left behind a wife named Mary, and five children under the age of 13, and one on the way. He asked an Amish friend what would happen to the family. “How will they financially make it, since the Amish do not carry insurance?” The friend answered, “The church will take care of them.” The church, in an Old World Order Amish group, is the entire community. She said, “We are the church! We will all pitch in and help her until her sons are grown and can financially support her. If every body gives a little, she will have a lot. “

Later, the man stopped by to see the Amish friend, and she asked him what the weather was supposed to be like on Saturday. He told her it was going to be cool, but dry. The friend said, “Good, because at least ten teams of men are going to Mary’s house to plow her fields, winterize her home and barn, get her a winters supply of coal (to heat her home) and wood (for her to cook with) . The women are all going to cook and bake to help feed the men, who are taking care of Mary’s farm, and bring food for Mary to have enough all winter.”

This is community, Peeps! This is church, Peeps! The church is a not merely a building. It is so much more. The church is a body of believers who function as a whole to reflect the love of our Lord and Savior. When there is a need, it is taken care of, not by a few, but by all. Many will say, “I’m too busy. The pastor or deacons will take care of them. The retired ladies will cook for them. My plate is too full.” If we are truly the church, we can’t think this way.

There are many parts that make up the human body. We have eyes that see, ears that hear, and hands that can work hard, bake, cook, build, and sometimes squeeze the hand of another who needs to know that we are there. We have feet made for us to go to wherever we need to go to share the love of Christ. We have a brain that functions to help us grow in knowledge of Christ. We have mouths that are to be use to pray, praise God, share the gospel, and lift others up. And we have a heart, and that heart desires to serve the Lord and to love like Jesus loves. Each member of the body can not function independently of the other members of the body. The church should be viewed in this way. We each have specific areas of expertise and skills, and we bring a lot to the table, but when we combine those skills together we become a fully functioning body that can accomplish much for Christ.

Can you be a Christian, and not be a member of church body? Yes, you can, but you miss out on so much. The church is not just a place to go and worship. The church is the body of believers. It’s the people. The people who love Christ, serve Christ, and in doing so love others and serve others. When someone sees a Christian on the street, they shouldn’t say, “There goes that Christian.” They should say, “There goes the church.” Are you being the church to the community today?

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