We all love a good quote, so let me start by quoting the Son of God. “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25 NIV) or even better yet, from the NLT- “Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.”
You talk to any Christian and for most part, they will agree that God has created us for relationship and community, yet statistics reveal that more than 50% of Christians do not go to church. Many brothers and sisters love Jesus with all their heart, yet cannot bear to be around other Christians, let alone go through the agony of sitting through yet another church service.
Christians are hurt, wounded, bleeding, tired of the politics and drama, and fed up with the backstabbing, the gossiping, and the insipid messages. Yet, deep in the heart of everyone who has tasted the living water, there is a cry for true community, a place to belong, a family that is welcoming, accepting and safe to be around. The children of God are desperate for authentic, covenant relationship – the kind that says “I can see you’re a mess, and I am sure you can see that I am pretty messy too, but let’s stick together as we work with the Lord, as we give each other room to be transformed into His image”.
I have been around church long enough to have had my fair share of church barbeques, church picnics, church camps, church outings and the rest. Yet, with all our efforts to connect people to one another, to create some form of unity, we have failed miserably and the result is plain to see. We are a house divided, a family splintered by feuding and falling apart.
So what is the remedy? I believe that we had it all wrong, a bit back to front. We have worked very hard to connect people to one another, to build some sort of spiritual community and we have hoped that by doing so, we would become united, that we would inspire the flock to grasp their leader’s vision and run with it. We’ve encouraged people to bite their tongues, turn the other cheek, consider what Jesus would do…and yet we have been sliding down a slippery slope, into what now seems to be a free-fall into the abyss.
I believe with all my heart that the answer to every question, the medicine for every illness, the remedy for whatever ails us, is JESUS. Only Jesus, always Jesus. Jesus is the key to putting back together a family splintered by feuding; Jesus is the One Who will unite a house divided against itself.
Right here, in the book of Colossians, chapter 1 verses 15 – 18 is the prescription:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. (NIV)
Jesus is the answer for a fragmented body, for a feuding family, for a broken marriage, for every part of our lives that is falling apart at the seams. Once a person is altogether connected to the Head, uniting with others, who are equally connected to the head, becomes easy. It’s inevitable that when we are connected to the Head we want to be connected to the body and whatever is born out of Him holds together because it must. In Jesus there is no fragmentation, no brokenness, no darkness and no lack. As ministers of the Word, as priest, prophets and kings of our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our circles of friends, let us labour to connect people to the Head, Jesus Christ, rather than work so hard to connect them to one another. That part will take care of itself, for as we have been told “birds of a feather flock together”.