Gathering together on a Sunday morning, I pictured all those gathered as a functioning body that God both designed and created. Each person has its own function and responsibility — and without it, the body would not be able to carry out what it was designed to be.
I distinctly chose to attend and be a member of a particular church. Yet, at the same time, that church chose me because it was the Lord’s intent. I choose my friends with whom I desire to associate and to enjoy a relationship. Yet, I did not choose the people for whom I would worship with and be a member together at a church body. God chose them for me.
There are people at church who I appreciate, but would not necessarily call them a close friend. There are people at church I admire, and there are people I struggle with. There are people I respect, and there are people who tend to be annoying. There are leaders who guide and support the congregation for whom I greatly appreciate, and there are people who need help and support that I tend to question. There are givers and there are takers. I cannot allow jealousy, hurt feelings, or annoyance to separate me from what God has joined together. I cannot sacrifice my role, nor my responsibility of exercising my spiritual gifts by distractions of my sinful nature or the world.
Jesus chose his disciples, then made them his friends.
“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)
This is a big promise from God. He called us to faith and he will preserve us in the faith. He will, “keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v. 8) He gives us the means of grace to be strong for without God we can easily separate us from the body. And without the body we disconnect from Christ instead of remaining in Him. God’s means of preserving us is primarily through His Word, through the sacraments, and through fellow believers who form a body of a congregation. That’s God’s way.
Perhaps today is a good day for giving thanks to God for allowing us to be a part of a body that is preserving us for that time where we will be with Him forever in heaven.