Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Brother's Keeper

I once asked one of my children: "Where's your brother?"  The response: "I dunno.  Am I my brother's keeper?"  Me:  "Oh no... you didn't kill him, did you?"

But let's think for a moment about what it means to be my brother's (or sister's) keeper in the family of Christ...

First, it means that the classic "loner" is a very broken individual.  We were not made to be loners.  We were made for community, for one another.  We need fellowship.

Secondly, we need to realize that just being in the crowd on Sunday morning does not automatically equal "fellowship."  Just being in the crowd does not necessarily mean that you are getting to know and genuinely care about those around you.  It does not mean that you are letting them know and care about you.

In fact, the larger the crowd becomes, the more difficult that will be!  The larger the crowd, the less likely it is that the individual souls in the crowd will really and truly know one another.

There's nothing wrong with a big crowd, of course.  But we need to realize that just being present in a crowd is not what the Bible means by fellowship... by church... by being your brother's keeper.

In fact, being in a big crowd can sometimes just accentuate one's sense of loneliness.

Gospel community plug here: look into becoming a part of a community group, a life group, or a really good Bible Study... a group of people who are genuinely and practically learning what it means to have fellowship in Christ.

A crowd is a poor counterfeit for community.  Don't cheat yourself.

Thirdly, realize that God designed the church so that you might grow into maturity there—in the context of all those human relationship, with all their ups and downs.  (Much like God's purpose in the natural family—that's where God intends human beings to grow into maturity: in that network of relationships, with all their ups and downs.)

In the natural family, you learn to become who God has made you to be inside this network of people called mom, dad, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, grandfather, grandmother, neighbor, etc.

In the family of Christ, you learn to become who God has called you to be inside this network of people called brother, sister, deacon, elder, pastor, Nori, Lolita, Lucinda, Scott... (& those are only the first four first names on the membership roll).

Yes.  You are your brother's keeper.  And your sister's keeper.

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is..." (Psalm 133)

NOTE: there will be a discussion of gospel community tonight (May 24), at DPC, at 6:30 pm.  If you'd like to join us, you are most welcome.  Trace, Sean, and I will be leading.


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