One of the most distinct times I can remember of the impact of a large gathering of God’s people was during the beginning of my third year in college at UC Davis. It was a worship night held at the largest lecture hall, SciLect123, where all the campus fellowships came together in unity, to worship the same God in praise and declare their faith as one body. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of students that overcrowded the room with an overflow of people spilling outside the doors.
That night, I distinctly recall wondering how people can neglect the true and living God. How can hundreds of people gathering together in unity and worship not cause you to even have a remote idea that the God of the universe is real, is living, and is doing great things in this world?
And yet, there are lots of reasons why the world is annoyed, frustrated, or want nothing to do with Christianity and God. Most of the reasons come from their observance of Christians. We’re hypocrites. Like Jay mentioned in the message last week, we argue about theological views to the point where anger and division take over. We form clichés and shun others away or tear down fellow believers with our harsh words. And in these broken moments, the world sees the church as chaotic and unloving.
Because of these issues, I believe one of the greatest tragedies of Christians is born. That tragedy is a desire to seek independence from the church and an individualistic faith that consists of only themselves and God. On the outset, it seems easier. No dealing with annoying people at church that don’t agree with you. No having to reach out to those that you don’t feel comfortable with. No opportunities for others to pass judgments on you.
It’s just you and God. And that’s enough isn’t it?
How unfortunate this mindset is! God desires us to not only have an intimate, loving relationship with Him, but also a loving relationship with others around us. He wants us to reach out to the poor, needy, and hopeless. And He wants us to be one body that seeks to glorify Him together! Ephesians 4:15-16 says, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
There is something about meeting together that draws us closer to Christ. As we lay aside our arguments and disagreements and place our focus and attention on Christ, He draws us together despite our differences. And as we lift each other up in prayer, as we encourage and exhort one another, and build each other up in faith, hope, and love, we realize that this is the only way to grow in Christ: together.
In communion this past week, we had the chance to carry out this idea of community through serving and praying for each other. What a powerful example of Christ’s body unified under Him! May we continue to be a community that loves each other deeply with the love of Christ, and in doing so, may we realize that our bond as a community of God can impact the world in mighty ways.
Author: Micah Shyu