21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” – 1 Corinthians 12:21
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
One of the things I missed during lockdown was being physically present with God’s people. As good as online services and Zoom have been, there is no substitute for seeing God’s people face to face. The warm “hello”, the encouraging word, the loving challenge, the opportunity to serve others practically, the chance to grow in the fruit of the spirit, none of which we can do on our own. I missed all this immensely and through lockdown, I was reminded afresh just how much we all need each other.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the image of a body to describe the Church. The body is one; but made up of many different parts, and each part is needed for the body to function properly. If one part of the body says to another “I don’t need you,” then the body is seriously weakened and unable to function correctly. The same is true for the Church. Without each other, we cannot be the Church God is calling us to be. We cannot grow as God wants us to grow. In his book “Why Bother with Church?” Sam Allberry suggests a brilliant exercise to help us grasp this truth;
“Take a pen, a piece of paper, and a timer. How many times can you write your name in 30 seconds? Now try the same exercise but without using your hands…. My guess is you didn’t do so well the second time around. Once you remove certain parts of the body, even the simple tasks get harder. It reminds us of how much those with disabilities deserve our admiration. And it also reminds us of what our Church misses out on we are not there – part of the body is missing. Your Church needs you. And you need your Church.”1
This really hit home to me the importance of meeting together with God’s people. Your church family is vital to your growth as a Christian and you are vital to the growth of your church family. For some of us, we are unable to physically come to Church because of failing health. If this is you, please don’t feel guilty for not coming. The Lord knows and he understands. For those of us who are able to come but are holding back please can I encourage you to prayerfully think about when you might return. Thinking and planning for something means we are more likely to do it! If you need help doing this, then please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be more than happy to help you and pray with you.
Yours in Christ
1 Why bother with church? Sam Allberry, 2016 by The Good Book Company, used by kind permission.