Sunday, August 12, 2012

Out of Orbit

I love my church family.  Don't you?

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.


  1. Good points. And a sweet reminder of how vital it is to pray for our church often and regularly - something God keeps teaching me. Thank you for a sweet Spiritual Sunday visit.

  2. This is such important truth! And one most of us don't want to pay attention to. It's too easy to get so focused on our "unity" and to get so dependent on our "church" (instead of on Christ) that we don't realize how much we've turned our gaze from Him and neglected His love, His commands, and His truths! I've seen this happen, and it is dreadfully sad. You led into this so effectively, and "spoke" it so well. How vital that we grow in Christ individually and love God above all else. Otherwise we cannot really love each other well at all.

  3. I do love my church family. I suffer when they do, rejoice with them and worship our Heavenly Father together. I'm also thankful I belong to "the" church--my brothers and sisters around the world who love my God. This just spoke joy to my heart!

    1. I find, Pamela, that remembering the big church you mention helps me keep the idea of my little church more in line. I am learning that the worship at church is more acknowledgement of a shared belief and fellowship than deep least it is for me. My church family has become the recipient of my private worship and study, a place to share what God has already done.

  4. I love my church family, too. We are a small congregation -- only about 70 or 80 on a typical Sunday. But it really does feel like family. And what a gift, to know we belong to Christ. Thank you for linking with God-Incidences!

  5. Joanne-you have some profound, deep thoughts going on here. So good...
    Bless you! heard you got some rain :-)