I’d like to take a few minutes to remind each of you how extremely important you are to this church. As you contemplate your membership in Christ’s church (which I would like you to do with me for a moment), please do so from God’s point of view. When God adds members to his church, he does so one person at a time. Each piece of the body is an individual, different, very particular piece.
In other words, there is simply no replacing you in this church. If you’re gone or simply not an active, functioning part of our community, the rest of us miss out. We don’t get the unique “you” God created and gave to his church. As Christians, we belong together. Read what the apostle Paul tells us about the bond we share:
19 …. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. (Eph 2.19b, NLT)
In his book The Weight of Glory, CS Lewis writes on exactly what Paul meant by membership for the Christian. His words are worth reading here:
The very word membership is of Christian origin, but it has been taken over by the world and emptied of all meaning…almost the reverse of what St. Paul meant by members. By members he meant what we should call organs, things essentially different from, and complementary to, one another… A row of identically dressed soldiers set side by side, or a number of citizens listed as voters in a constituency are not members of anything in the Pauline sense. I am afraid that when we describe a man as “a member of the church” we usually mean nothing Pauline; we mean only that he is a unit — that he is one more specimen of some kind of things as X and Y and Z. How true membership in a body differs from inclusion in a collective may be seen in the structure of a family. The grandfather, the parents, the grown-up son, the child, the dog, and the cat are true members (in the organic sense), precisely because they are not members or units of a homogeneous class. They are not interchangeable. Each person is almost a species in himself… . If you subtract any one member, you have not simply reduced the family in number; you have inflicted an injury on its structure.
My prayer for you is that you take up residence here. Plant your roots deeply in the ground at DCC and love this place like your home—because it is! Whether you’ve been here 10 years or 10 days, look anew at this local brotherhood as your dear family. Get to know someone better. Repair a lost friendship. Serve the body in the unique way only you are able. Because in Paul’s words:
25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Cor 12.25-27, NLT)
Your Brother in Christ,