Friday, July 09, 2004

Loving the Saints Part I

One of the central duties in the life of the church is for the body to minister to itself. Formal worship and the ministry of the elders and deacons should prepare and set the stage for this ministry but it cannot replace it. The life of the body as the body is vital to the health and growth of any church. The body lives together the entire week through as they prepare to come again as the people of God on the Lord’s Day. This life together should weave them into a tight knit body that is not easily separated.

There are many ways that this ministry can take place. One of the most obvious and important is in breaking bread together. This forces us to be together in a way that reveals who we really are. This revelation is not so that we can assure ourselves that we are better off than our neighbor but so that we can know him, love him and serve him. Because the modern Church is so full of surface Christians, these kinds of relationships are rare. We don’t want to get to know anybody because we might not like them and worse, they might not like us, and then we find ourselves separating from the very ones we wanted to draw near to. This is why a good understanding of the Church is needed. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all different but part of one body. We must grow in our love not only for the parts of others that are like us but even for and perhaps especially for their particular quirks. We serve a diverse God, Unity in Trinity, and we should rejoice in the diversity of His body, the Church, our Church. This is nothing less than loving God and loving our neighbor, particularly our closest neighbors, the brothers.

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 1 John 3:18-19

No comments: