Sunday, August 12, 2012
Out of Orbit
Every Sunday, the same dear faces, smiles of recognition, hearts that have prayed for whatever concerns cloud my heart, sweet familiar voices lifted all around in songs repeated so often they seem gentle friends themselves. A refuge of common faith.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!--Psalm 133:1
We stay together; we pray together....
But we can also stray together.
The Ephesians discovered this when John warned them:
You have forsaken their first love.--Revelation 2:4
The believers in Ephesus started out fine, just like us. They cared about one another. They prayed. They ate together. They did good works together, but somehow, they ended up off course, out of orbit.
This didn't happen all at once.
It happened in a slow creep away from the light, step by small step.
The church--every church, your church and mine,--can walk into darkness together, feeling perfectly fine about it. We are still in unity, we think. Surely, we can't be too wrong.
But we can.
So how do we test our church?
We do it by remembering that our church is not our church. It belongs to Christ.
God placed all this under His feet and appointed Him head over everything, for the church, His body.--Ephesians 1:22
We do it by growing closer to Him individually and so maintain our rudder corporately.
Whatever binds us together as a church must take second place to what binds us to Christ.
The most important commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.--Matthew 22:37-38
Our love for one another can push us out of orbit.
We can travel safely together only when we look primarily not toward each other, but toward Christ.