Showing Up To Church – Why bother…? Reason #2: No Man is an Island
Life is rubbish if you do it by yourself. There are many reasons for this – not least of which is the fact that we were not made to do life by ourselves. Regardless of whether we are more of an introvert or extrovert by nature, we were not created to do life alone. “No man is an Island“, wrote John Donne – and even though Hugh Grant’s character in ‘About A Boy’ was certain that he was, in fact, “Ibiza” – the rest of that film displays his life improving dramatically as he slowly developed actual, meaningful relationships with other human beings…
I am convinced that no follower of Jesus is an island either. We weren’t made to do life alone – nor were we made to follow Jesus alone. Again, I’m not really making a comment about how we do church here, but however we do it, it definitely works best when we do it together…
Over the last few weeks, I have had a few days where things have felt hard – busy-ness, tiredness, some frustrations and a few things not going the way I had hoped had all taken their toll, and… and I was feeling grumpy. Grrr. And when I’m feeling grumpy, I don’t really feel like being with other people – let alone nice Christian people. Grrr. And this, of course, is not an especially good state of mind to be in early on a Sunday morning… especially when you’re the minister. Grrr.
And yet I was surprised again (I’m a slow learner) at just how my mood lifted, and my feelings changed, and my faith rose, and my hope was restored – just by being with the rest of our Barney’s family on a Sunday morning. It is so good to spend time with family – without having to feel good about it. As I saw friends, old and new, coming together to start the week together, to worship God together, to encourage and build one another up together, I was really encouraged and built up too. I had one more reason to worship God, one more reason to have hope, one more reason to believe that Jesus loves me, and one more reason to believe that Jesus will work through me:
I’m not following him alone.
This recent experience has reminded me again just how amazing it is to gather together with other Jesus-followers – to be in the same place, at the same time, worshipping the same God and sharing the same vision. As we take the focus of ‘me’ and ‘my needs’ and fix our eyes again on Jesus, together as part of God’s missionary people, we truly discover something more of who we were created to be – part of a family, on mission, together.
How have you been encouraged, by following Jesus together with other people?
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:24-25