Better Together

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How are you doing with ‘social distancing?’ I, for one, am so grateful for social media, that once reviled part of our world. The internet is helping us to stay connected, ‘talking’ to one another, sharing life, love, laughter … well, yes, it’s not all good. But on the whole I am thankful for it. Human beings are wired for connection and in its absence we become depressed.

Christians are called into a holy community.  Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:5-6, NIV)

Some only focus His words about our mystical connection about the spiritual life received from Him through faith. Let’s not miss an important sub-text.  “You are the branches!”  Christians are not only alive through Christ they are part of a Living Tree. That connection is VITAL for health and effectiveness as a follower of Jesus.

The book of Acts, which tells us the stories of the first generation of disciples is all about church planting, the experience of knowing Jesus inseparable from being part of the Church. They did not use that word to describe an organization or a building. The ‘church’ was a living thing, people who became intimately connected to Christ and one another.

As I read about the formation of the first church I noted a key line for this moment in time.  “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2, NIV)  Their lives were changed by connections, relationships, and shared experience. AND it wasn’t all centered in a building, around a program. It was practiced in everyday life.

Social distancing may keep us from the building but it does not need to keep us from the Body!

Our worship together at church is surely a part of being in the Vine and in fellowship, and I am eager for the day when we can raise our voices together in the church house, but we remain His Church. Let’s be intentional about making life together, about getting involved in the work of the Kingdom in a way that demands a second set of hands, that makes us love the prayers of the saints.

Reach out to a friend today and see how they are doing.
Send someone a text, email, or (really be old fashioned) send a written note.
Make a phone call or Facetime with someone.
Talk about more than the weather, the trivia of life. Inquire about their heart and soul.
Pray with someone. *Yes, you can! 

Our word from the Word is a call to connection.
Do you hear it? Will you listen and obey?

“You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts-limbs, organs, cells-but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12, The Message) “What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way-the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons.” (1 Corinthians 12:20-23, The Message)
________

We Will Stand
(Russ Taff sings a great song about being together!)

Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand
Why we pull away from each other so easily
Even though we’re all walking the same road?
Yet we build dividing walls
Between our brothers and ourselves.

 But, I don’t care what label you may wear,
If you believe in Jesus you belong with me!
The bond we share is all I care to see,
And we’ll change the world forever,
If you will join with me,
Join and sing, sing.

 You’re my brother, you’re my sister,
So take me by the hand.
Together we will work until He comes.
There’s no foe that can defeat us,
When we’re walking side by side,
As long as there is love,
We will stand!

 The day will come when we will be as one
And with a mighty voice
Together we will proclaim that
Jesus, Jesus is King.
It will echo through the earth.
It will shake the nations.
And the world will see, see that;

 You’re my brother, you’re my sister,
So take me by the hand.
Together we will work until He comes.
There’s no foe that can defeat us,
When we’re walking side by side,
As long as there is love,
We will stand!

James Hollihan | Russ Taff | Tori Taff

© 1983 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

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