Two Sundays ago, we were having a family braai together and my mother- in law reflected on how sad it was to see so few people coming back to church. She had just attended a service in her own church that morning. It saddened me to. I had a deep sense as I reflected on this, later that day, that the Lord’s heart was saddened by this. My sense was that the Lord was prompting me to appeal to believers with these words, ‘tell my people, it’s time to come home’.
In obedience to the Lord, I make that appeal to you today. Born again Christians are the body of Christ and are part of the Body of Christ here on earth: ‘Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ… now you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.’ (1 Corinthians 12:12, 27). When we are saved, we are placed in Christ, and are made one with every believer, who is already in Christ: ‘for we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we are all given the one Spirit to drink.’ (1 Corinthians 12:13-14)
Every born-again Christian needs the Body of Christ, as the Body of Christ needs every believer (1 Corinthians 12:15-20). As believers, we are called to function in unity with the Body of Christ. We cannot exist apart from the Body of Christ. Believers cannot function in isolation – we are not called or designed to function that way. The devil is fully aware, that if he can alienate believers and cause them to disconnect from the Body of Christ, there is every chance that believers will struggle and may be overcome by the darkness that surrounds them. The Bible tells us that this is the devil’s mandate: ‘to kill, steal and destroy’ (John 10:10) and that ‘he prowls around, like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8).
The Lord reserves His highest and greatest blessing for the Body of Christ, when we are together, in unity: ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe…’ (Psalm 133:1-2). It’s no wonder that the writer to Hebrews pleads with believers not to disconnect from one another. He pleads with them to pursue meeting together as the Body of Christ for worship and fellowship: ‘let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing’ (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Having said all this, I know that Lockdown restrictions have made meeting together difficult, but now with restrictions being lifted, and the opportunities for meeting together, let us seize the opportunity and let’s come home to our places of worship, cell groups and ministry groups. I know numbers are still limited and we need to adhere to the protocols of wearing masks and social distancing but whatever the restrictions are, let’s still pursue ways to meet, worship and fellowship as the body of Christ. So please, ‘It’s time to come home’.
Bless you all!