There is a story that has been making the round social media for several years now—maybe you’ve read it too. One Sunday morning, a woman went in to wake her husband up and tell him it was time to get ready for church. His response was short and to the point, "I'm not going." "Why not?" she asked. I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, they don't like me, and, two, I don't like them."
His wife replied, "I'll give you two good reasons why you should go to church. One, you're 54 years old, and, two…you're the pastor!"
The story, though comical, reveals a fundamental truth that is equally as sad. Scores of people choose not to be a part of the Church. Their reasons vary. Some folks have had a bad Church experience in their childhood. Some see the Church as a haven for hypocrites. While, still others feel like they already did their time in church as children and now believe they have earned early retirement.
The truth is, Christ-followers, we need each other and we need the Church! No one is meant to live life or to worship God in isolation. Instead, we are created to come together in community. You may argue, “Can’t you experience God on your own, without going to church?” Because God is continuously revealing himself throughout creation, His Word, and His people each and every day, the answer is yes. However, we are called to be part of the Body of Christ and without each and every person, the Body is incomplete. “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” — Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT.
Here in the good old US of A, where individualism is highly prized, the idea of dependence on one another is rare and can possibly be seen as a weakness, or a flaw in one’s character. But in the Kingdom of God, it’s just the opposite. We are one. And, unlike a job with a comfortable retirement package to enjoy once you have “done your time,” our time as members of the body of Christ is eternal. What a retirement package!