Do­ing life, and death, to­gether

The Weekly Vista - - Community - REV. MARK VOLL Mark Voll is pas­tor of the Vil­lage Bible Evan­gel­i­cal Free Church. Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

Henry (not his real name) has ad­vanced stage brain can­cer and is now in hos­pice, dy­ing. His wife, Phyl­lis (not her real name), is con­stantly at his side. But she’s not the only one. Most of the time other peo­ple are there to speak softly to Henry and to hug and com­fort Phyl­lis. They bring snacks and food for Phyl­lis and they bring their heart­felt love and prayers. Phyl­lis can’t imag­ine how she would deal with this with­out those friends.

Those friends are their broth­ers and sis­ters, not in the fa­mil­ial con­text you might be as­sum­ing, but in the con­text of the fam­ily of Chris­tian faith. And some­times, the re­la­tion­ships de­vel­oped by broth­ers and sis­ters in Christ are even more faith­ful and fruit­ful than any other. It is ac­tu­ally part of God’s per­fect plan for us!

In Je­sus Christ, we share our need for Him and our suf­fi­ciency in Him! In Christ, we come face to face with our weak­nesses, our needs and His pro­vi­sion. In Christ, we dis­cover His amaz­ing grace and a com­mu­nity of peo­ple who are liv­ing in that grace, just like us. Christ Je­sus unites. He is our com­mon ground. Christ Je­sus in­spires our re­la­tion­ships, like noth­ing be­fore and never be­fore.

The scrip­tures show us what those re­la­tion­ships with other Chris­tians can and should look like. We’re to love as God has loved us. We’re to prove our love to be sac­ri­fi­cial be­cause “God so loved the world that He gave His only be­got­ten Son!” We’re to be for­giv­ing of each other’s faults be­cause of the for­give­ness we’ve re­ceived through Christ. We’re to be “one in the Spirit, one in the Lord,” just as God the Fa­ther, Son and Holy Spirit are one.

If you don’t have that in your life, I en­cour­age you to pray that God would di­rect you to a church that teaches the whole coun­sel of God; what it means to be re­deemed in Christ and what it means to be part of the body of Christ. You’ll find other peo­ple like you who need one an­other and want to be a bless­ing to one an­other.

It’s what we do. We walk through life, and even death, to­gether. It’s who we are and what we do be­cause of Whose we are and what He did.

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