There For Them

Fellowship is a powerful gift that we should use more often.
FellowshipThough my calendar for the day was bulging with responsibilities, I decided to drive out to the airport. A group from our congregation was preparing to leave for a week of mission work and I wanted to be there. While there I didn’t do anything noteworthy. I had no remarkable words of wisdom and they certainly weren’t there to hear one of my sermons. I simply wanted to be there for them. And from what I heard, they appreciated it.
As a minister I’ve been involved in several funerals. Some of them involve families that aren’t as well known as others in the church. Friends and coworkers came by to visit the grieving family, but where were their brothers and sisters in Christ? At a moment of great need, their spiritual family was not to be found. Fellowship could have been so powerful.
It’s not just the sad times when people appreciate fellowship. I’ve also been in weddings where lots of family and neighbors were on hand to share the joy. But few (sometimes none) from their spiritual family took the time to be there for them. Another opportunity was lost. What could have been a time of bonding was instead just another occasion where spiritual ties were missing.
Christians must do better if they’re going to respond to the calling of the Lord. Paul compared the church to a physical body in 1 Corinthians 12. God’s purposes for placing us in this body are made clear in these words: “… That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25,26, NKJV).
Paul knew the value of fellowship. In his last letter he wrote of the help Onesiphorus had given: “… for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me” (2 Timothy 1:16,17). Was it easy for this brother to find the imprisoned apostle? Apparently not, for Paul said he searched “very zealously” before finding him. Onesiphorus persevered, though, in his quest. He wanted to be there for Paul, and Paul never forgot the love this man showed.
The occasions may be simple: A recital in which a child is performing, a little league baseball game, or a birthday get-together. It’s not a complicated thing to be there. But when your sister or brother in Christ see you there, they’ll know one thing for certain: You care. And that’s a message each one of us needs to hear often.
Be there for your brethren!

One Reply to “There For Them”

  1. Hi!
    I’d like to copy this article for our bulletin. I have a request. Could I retitle it “Be There for Them” I think it would clarify the subject a little more. I will wait rather than do so without permission.
    respectfully yours,

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