Sunday, October 14, 2018

Alone and Together

I need Christ's church. I need the Body of Christ. While my faith life exists in periods of isolation and separation from the body of believers, God also creates me to partake in the "fellowship of believers."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book devoted to living together in community. He called it Life Together. In it he said, "We recognize, then that only as we stand within the community can we be alone, and only those who are alone can live in the community. Both belong together. Only in the community do we learn to be properly alone; and only in being alone do we learn to live properly in the community. It is not as if the one preceded the other; rather that both begin at the same time, namely, with the call of Jesus Christ" (Life Together, pp. 82-83).

The Hebrew (10:23-25 NKJV) writer wrote: 'Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."

I travel extensively with my work. Travel often conflicts with Sunday worship in my home church. I love my work, but I miss my home church. Sunday always finds me in worship. But Sundays are most special when Beth and I are home. I usually fill in as Sunday school teacher for our class, giving our regular teacher, Albert, a break. I occasionally fill the pulpit for Pastor Jay. 

I find that I need other believers. I need the Body of Christ. 

Wednesday mornings are spent with a group of Christian men who disciple one another in the faith. A dozen or so of us gather in Bible Study challenging each other to become disciples of Jesus Christ. We read a brief passage of scripture and talk about five discipleship questions. 
  1. What is Jesus saying?
  2. Who is Jesus today?
  3. What has Jesus done for you recently?
  4. How can I feed others?
  5. What am I believing Jesus for this week?
But fellowship and discipleship time with others is not enough. 

I need time alone with the Lord. 

I can only contribute into the spiritual lives of others as I  encounter my living Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. I can only give as I have received. So, early mornings are spent in the quiet place. I read devotional books, the Holy Bible, write devotional thoughts, journal, and pray.  I seek to furnish my soul in isolation with God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to my heart. 

Are you assembling together with other believers in Christian fellowship, Bible study, prayer, and public worship? Are you tending to your own inner private spiritual life?

Remember the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "Only in the community do we learn to be properly alone; and only in being alone do we learn to live properly in the community."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for these thoughts; I agree wholeheartedly. We definitely need alone time with God as well as small group time and worship time. My week is not full unless I experience all of these. My day is not full without time spent with God alone.