Monday, November 22, 2010

Belonging Together

I love golf. Well, I really like it at least. I wish I was better at it. But I know that in order to get better at it I will really need to do a few key things. I will need to upgrade my old set of clubs and I’ll need to play more regularly. Both of these cost money. A new set of clubs and a year-long membership at the local golf club will set me back quite a lot of money. So I guess I’ll just remain an ordinary golfer who likes golf but can’t really pay, I mean play.

God wanted me to be part of his family. So much so that he paid my entry fee. Jesus died so that I could be forgiven, be united with him and live the life he created me to live – life to the full. As a teenager at Boronia Baptist Church I responded to God’s invitation and became part of the family of God. My membership was free even though it cost God greatly. Through Christ I belonged to a family, the family of God.
Paul wrote in Romans 12:5 “…So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”  When I become part of God’s family, I not only belong to God through faith in Christ, I actually belong to other believers.

In this new family my belonging is ‘in Christ’ and in Christ I am unified with other believers no matter how different we may appear! We are many. There are hundreds of Baptist Churches in Victoria, and they are all vastly different, but in Christ we are one body. We are many here at Wodonga, old and young, farmers and business people, early risers and night owls, New South Welsh people and Victorians but in Christ we are all one body.

We have a great church building, but that is not what unites us. We have many really good programs, but they aren’t what unite us. We live in an amazing part of Victoria but even this is not what unites us. We are one in Christ.

I was talking with a couple who have been a part of our church community for just over a year. They had noticed that the church was different to anything they had been a part of. “We’ve been in community groups, volunteer organisations, sporting clubs for my whole life, but this is different,” they said. What they were identifying was that people genuinely cared for them. They had received cards in the mail. People stopped to talk to them and showed interest in them. They were beginning to really experience God’s love and they felt like they belonged. This is priceless. This is the church.

I love the church. God has gathered us together, different, but united. Do you celebrate this? Instead of sitting back and complaining from the sidelines, decide to become wholeheartedly committed to those who in Christ you are one with. Instead of lurking in the shadows why not become a member? Make a decision to worship regularly and consistently. Use your gifts for their good. Give to support the mission you all share. Love deeply those who you are one with in Christ.

When other people see this they’ll notice and want to belong too!

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