“For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.” Romans 12:4-5, 10-13 NASB2020 https://bible.com/bible/2692/rom.12.4-12.NASB2020
Since Covid too many who call themselves Christians have ceased attending and participating in their local church. 30-50% of those who attended church prior to covid are no longer doing so. Why? Fear and/or laziness primarily, neither of which are godly, but also there is a great ignorance among God’s people for the purpose of the church. It is not to simply acquire more information from a good talker, information that is seldom practiced! Many who no longer attend church now listen to church not in their own town but from some place they cannot physically participate in as a member. God’s word states that we are individually parts of one another. This means church relationships are to be like a marriage relationship; close, intimate, daily, giving, serving, loving, carrying one another’s burdens. The church is described as the bride of Christ and so we are when we love one another particularly as described in the passage for today. We are to be devoted to one another, an impossibility from our living room. We are to serve one another and pray with each, giving to the needs of one another and inviting one another into our homes for encouragement, spiritual development, and greater relationship. The purpose of church is for the people of God to work out their salvation and to have a base from which they work together to bring salvation to their local community. We cannot be part of the church and not participate wholly, fully, and intentionally in a local body of believers. And if we are not part of the church, are we truly part of Christ?