Therefore, Christians need other Christians who speak God’s Word to them. They need them again and again when they become uncertain and disheartened because, living by their own resources, they cannot help themselves without cheating themselves out of the truth. They need other Christians as bearers and proclaimers of the divine word of salvation. They need them solely for the sake of Jesus Christ. The Christ in their own hearts are uncertain; those of their brothers and sisters are sure. At the same time, this also clarifies that the goal of all Christian community is to encounter one another as bringers of the message of salvation.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
What is lost when we think we can do life on our own? What do we miss out on when we say being a part of a congregation is too boring, a frustration, irritating, or pointless? We believe the lie that all we need is God and can work it out on our own.
Does the church save you? No. Is it through the church that you are made right with God? No.
Do we still need the church today? Absolutely!
Put aside the amount of care that congregations do for the needy in our communities. There is deeper need that is met by the existence of an active faith community. That need is beautifully captured in Bonhoeffer’s book quoted above. We need the Church, which is rightly understood as brothers and sisters in Christ, to speak God’s Word of life into our own when our strength fades. We will face days when life has kicked us in the teeth, left us as weeping heap, yearning for the darkness to end. That is the exact time that sisters and brothers come alongside and lift us up with the Word, with their caring presence, and the message that we are being carried by the very arms of God through this hardship to brighter days.
Whatever you face this day I pray that you will be encouraged by brothers and sisters and you will see the hope we have in Christ for tomorrow!