Our lives consist of different types of relationships. The relationship we share as members of the body of Christ is truly unique among our relationships.
1 JOHN 1: 1-5 (NRSV)
“We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.”
We are joined together as one body, one family through the good news of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. We are united with the Lord through His death, burial and resurrection, in baptism (ref. Rom. 6). We become members of His body, the Church (ref. Eph. 5:23). How meaningful is this relationship to us? How important is our connection to the body of Christ, the Church?
I have heard some express, “Give me Jesus, but I don’t need the church!” I understand at times, relationships are complex. The Church is not an exception. Sometimes, as we are involved with relationships at Church, like family, it can be difficult. However, you cannot separate Jesus from the Church. They are one. The Church is not a building. It’s not brick and mortar or stained glass. It is the body of Christ!
As John uses in (1 Jn. 1:3), the word fellowship is from the Greek word that means a partnership or participation. Although meals shared can be a great time of fellowship, John is talking about more than meals. John is speaking about unity and being joined together as one participating in the good news of Christ together. This relationship, among all our other relationships, is truly unique. It is a relationship we should cherish, value, and honor as we serve one another.
[Scripture quotations are] from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.