Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 1, 2020
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20
As someone who lives in the heart of SEC country, my love for English football is a cultural anomaly. Added to this oddity is the fact that my favorite team, Everton Football Club, is little known outside of England and hasn’t won a trophy for decades. And yet, as anyone with sporting loyalties can attest, my love is irrationally deep!
I spent years cultivating my affection for this team. I would watch the games, read up on their history and best players, even learn the songs, but always at a distance, always in isolation. Yet I recently was given an incredible gift and invited to go watch a game in person. I was caught off guard by how moving it was to arrive and see tens of thousands of fans pouring into the stadium. It was as though my private devotion finally found its appropriate home, the end for which it was made.
In our spiritual lives, we often approach faith the way I approached sports fandom. We view our life with Christ as a primarily private reality. We read Scripture, learn the history and heroes of our faith, even listen to the songs Christians sing, yet do so in isolation and autonomy. If we aren’t careful, we can grow so accustomed to this that we come to think it’s all that it means to be a follower of Jesus.
While your faith can and should be nurtured and sustained in personal habits of devotion, it finds its fullest expression when joined to the body of Christ, the Church. You are saved from isolation into community, community with God and community with his people. There is a joy to our life with God that is only encountered when we worship him with fellow believers. Our personal devotion is joined with the prayers and praises of his people, offering to the Lord a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Seen through this lens, church is less about what we get and far more about what we give. It’s about joining our personal stories to the beautiful story of redemption that God is telling over all of creation. We offer ourselves in worship, and receive the joy of belonging to a family, a story, and a mission. Today let your personal belief in God deepen in you a longing to belong to him and his people.
Father, thank you for the gift of family, that in the Church you give us a place to belong and to live out our beliefs with brothers and sisters in the faith. Amen.
Has your personal faith in Jesus led you to faithful participation in the life of the church?
You are saved from isolation into community, community with God and community with His people. #WisdomHunters #belong #truth #Jesus
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