“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” ~ Ephesians 4:16
We live in an age that increasingly finds belief in Jesus and church attendance to be incongruent. There are many reasons for this and the infamous COVID lockdown of 2020 did not help.
You may hear people ask, “Why do I need a church? I got Jesus.” Some have a more emphatic spin on this question, making it a statement. They state, “I do not need church. I do not need church to be close to Jesus.” As the world becomes more independent, I reckon Christians do as well.
The independent Christian however will be a weak, inefficient, and targeted Christian. The Church (uppercase C) needs the churches (lowercase c) to build them up, support them, and grow alongside them in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I learned first hand what independence gets you. When I was in 8th grade, I was on the wrestling team. I was invited to go to an off-season wrestling tournament. Long story short, I asked my mother if I could go, she said no, therefore I did what any 8th grade boy would do.
I told my friends she said yes and I went to the tournament anyway at the local coliseum. I wrestled for the entire day and losing one match, was wrestling for third place in a very prestigious tournament. In this last match, I was winning 8-0 when off of an illegal position (potentially dangerous) by my opponent, I heard, CRRRSH, CRAAACK, CRRSH!
It didn’t register right away and I continued to wrestle, but when I saw mangled arm wrap around my opponent like a seat belt, I knew that something wasn’t right. It was then I felt one of the worst pains in my life. This was an extensive injury that took place on my elbow joint and it required a screw to pull my elbow back from three pieces to one.
Six weeks later, a humbled Jacob, had this cast taken off and I realized just how much I needed those around me. This included my parents, my friends, and Lord knows my physical therapist. For over a week, I could not move my arm and it was stuck in a right degree angle even with the cast off.
I needed people to encourage me. I needed a physical therapist to help me move again. I need my people. Whoever that was in my life at that time. Here, in this age of broken hearts and disappointments, nothing has changed for the Church (Psalm 34:18). We all need encouraged, we all need help moving better as the church, and we all need our people (1 Thessalonians 5:11-15).
Even the best life wrestlers, can be, and will be humbled. God created a beautiful family to be there when it happens and past when it happens (Galatians 6:10).