Connected in Christ
by Abiding Love
1 Thessalonians 2:8 — Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
Bob and Sally sit down in the worship service. They are eager to hear God’s Word, but there is also an uncomfortable buzz in their minds, as anxiety reminds them that they really don’t know anyone at church. Another couple sits in their row. Self-consciousness settles in. The other couple scoots down by them, smiles, introduces themselves and takes an interest in getting to know Bob and Sally. The anxiety disappears. A sense of belonging comes. The two couples now sing the opening hymn side by side.
The phone rings. Judy answers the call from Fran. Fran noticed Judy had been missing from Bible study for a couple weeks. She asks Judy if everything is okay. Judy bursts into tears. These months since her husband died have been hard, and Judy has been feeling more and more alone. Fran listens. She prays for Judy on the phone. Fran asks Judy to go for lunch tomorrow with her.
The guys all show up to church at 8:00am on Saturday. Jim has the coffee and doughnuts like he always does. The men stand around talking about the weather, sports, Jim’s recent shoulder surgery. Then the crew in blue jeans get to work on this month’s projects on the church grounds. Trimming up the trees will look great for Easter. And that new paint job in the classroom is going to be loved by the teachers.
Jesus Christ died to make us his. Together we belong to him — one flock, one body, one family. We have been connected in Christ. This gives us plenty of reason to share our lives with one another. Befriending one another as a church family, working together, playing together, paying attention to one another and carrying each other’s burdens — this is all part of what the Bible calls “fellowship”.
I pray you are not only encouraged to fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, but I encourage you to come to this Sunday morning’s “Church Life” Bible study. This week’s study, starting at 9:20am, will give us an opportunity to discuss the fellowship aspect of our church’s life.
Here are some questions we will be discussing:
- What is the difference between being friendly and being friends?
- What are some distractions that interrupt members sharing friendship time together?
- Do we have a good system in place to recognize and help members who are in need?
- How can small groups within the church foster connectedness? Is there the possibility of starting some new small groups?
Even if you have never come to Sunday’s Bible study before, please join us! It’s a great place for us to share our lives together.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
September 20, 2023
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