Devotion is a characteristic of the church: commitment to the teachings of Christ, to the fellowship of believers, and to honoring Christ as we break bread and pray together as the Apostles and our LORD did so often. These draw us together in a shared bond that is a common thread running through the tapestry that is our lives. Differences enrich our experience, but the whole church is intended to share this bond. When taken wholeheartedly, the bond of faith that binds us together as a family is unbreakable. It requires devotion and care, but it is vitally important and worth the effort.
The church, therefore, has two primary roles: gathering us to praise God through worship, song, and service – and taking in for ourselves and then reaching others with the message of hope and healing that is the gospel of Christ. The church is a home from which we are “called out” (from the Greek term ekklesia) from complacency, to believe and to serve. This “calling out” both distinguishes the church and makes us one with all, as Christ both welcomes all to his table – and enters in wherever he is invited.
The stresses of life today bring the church into sharp relief against a backdrop of chaos and uncertainty. People need the church, and it fulfills important functions in the lives of modern people. We are growing in the garden and life of the church – a life that flows eternally as living water from the hand and heart of Christ. It is in this LIFE that I find myself and encounter others who support and encourage me as I make my way. It is the FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS that nourishes my soul and gives me strength.