Friday, December 23, 2016

Just Jesus and Me?

 When I was growing up, we used to sing a song about how it was "Jesus and me" traveling the road of life together. This went right along with the idea that salvation was an individual thing and that Jesus was "my personal Savior." While there is a sense in which God redeems us as individuals, I believe that there is much more to the work of Christ than just Jesus and me.

I no longer believe that following Jesus is just about making him your personal Savior or that the Christian life is lived individually. As I have studied Scripture I have come to believe that when God calls us and makes us his children, he is making us members of a family, a body. The word for church means a called out assembly, not a collection of separate individuals.

The idea that salvation and the Christian life is an individual thing has done damage to the body of Christ. If you look around at the Church in the United States you see the results of an individualistic faith. In many places there is a lack of commitment to the larger body. People move from church to church for various reasons. Many times folks leave because of problems in relationships. Someone has done something against them and it's easier to simply find another church than do the hard work of repenting, forgiving, and reconciling. It seems as if many look for a place where they can be served and "fed" (whatever that means) by a weekly concert and inspirational talk. They aren't looking for community, or they don't understand what community entails.

We are redeemed to be part of one another. We are a body and each part of the body needs each other part. I believe the day may come when those who claim Christ will have to come together and live as one body. We will no longer have the luxury of dividing over things that are not worth dividing over. We will be forced to live in harmony, forgiving each other no matter how many times they sin against us and loving each other with a selfless love, just as Jesus loved us. Maybe we ought to start doing that now so it won't be such a shock.

May God help us to live together as fellow children of the Father who are members of one body.

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