The vision statement for Vero Christian Church reads: Love God, Love People, Serve Others. This statement was crafted after much study, prayer, and discussion. While it adopts a Simple Church phraseology, it is deep. Simple does not equate easy or shallow. Complex does not equate deep or thoughtful.
If we are to properly do life together (as I wrote about in this previous post), then we must start with a solid foundation. That foundation is our relationship with God. All other relationships will rise or fall based on this fundamental relationship.
As we Love God, we desire to spend time with Him. In prayer. In Bible study. in personal, private worship. In corporate worship. Yes, all of the above are necessary for a deepening relationship with God. Doing life together means just that: together. Not solo. There are NO Lone Ranger Christians. Christ is coming back to redeem and collect His Bride, the Church. Not a bunch of individuals. As I mentioned in my previous post, we are all living stones in and for the Temple of God.
Notice I used the word “desire” in the paragraph above. We must DESIRE to spend this time with God and His people. It is not a “have to” attitude God is seeking. It is a “get to” or a “want to” desire. I LOVE my time in God’s Word each day. But, I LOVE the time Peggy and I spend in God’s Word together each day even more. I LOVE the time I get to spend with brothers and sisters in Christ on the Lord’s Day each week. When we gather, we publicly proclaim our love for God. We sing His praises, we pray for one another and for others outside our fellowship. We gather around the Lord’s Table, eating bread and drinking juice to proclaim the death, burial, resurrection, and coming again soon of our Lord Jesus. We hear God’s Word proclaimed, and are challenged to apply that Word to our daily lives. We are encouraged by one another, and we feel the love of God working through our Christian brothers and sisters.
That gathering with my fellow living stones of God’s Temple is the highlight of my week. It is a time of Celebration and joy. It is a time to express our love for God as a family. It crushes my heart that so many who claim to follow Christ do not see the importance of weekly gathering with the body of Christ. I guess this is not a new problem because the writer of the book of Hebrews (I believe it is Paul who wrote this book, but that is a subject for another day) says:
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Yeah, apparently the teaching in the early church was that God thinks it is important to be in the weekly assembly. I believe it is critical for us to obey God’s Word. I also know that I could not survive this thing called life without that regular, weekly gathering with my brothers and sisters in Christ to express our collective Love for God.