Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:
Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us…Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together
When I look at the makeup of my local church, I can honestly say apart from Christ there would be no reason for me to be in community with them. This is just the reality of the amazing transformation Christ brings in the lives of individuals, who then immediately become part of a grand family.
I love my family in Christ because I first accepted the grace of God’s love for me. The acknowledgment we are all sinners saved by grace becomes the root cause of community.
That’s why Paul writes to the church in Ephesus to say that the Body comes from Christ:
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.Ephesians 4:16
Church is not the family we’re born into, but the family we’re born again into!
Much like our earthly family, church life can be messy. We expect this when dealing with people who have yet to grow fully into the image of Christ. We need to give each other grace. He’s shown enough for us, and in following his example, we learn to be gracious to our brother and sister in Christ.
The more each one of us does our part as a unique member of the Body, the more we’re knit together in harmony and unity of mind and purpose. In pursuit of the common goal to have the attitude of Christ, we grow stronger in our unified efforts for his glory.
Strong roots, strong church.
Ask God how you can better serve the other members of your local Body. Thank him for the diversity of gifts and for those who are serving.
Grace and Peace