Summary: Ever wonder why you bother with church. You know the big reason--heaven, but if you are like more you like some practical reasons. The diversity of relationships make the church a beautiful place to be.
RELATIONSHIPS: THE BEAUTY OF CHURCH
THEME: THE VARIETY OF RELATIONSHIPS MAKES THE CHURCH BEAUTIFUL.
TEXT: 1 Cor. 12:14-18
I am a member of the local Rotary Club. I enjoy going to the club meetings on Tuesday at Bradley’s. The people are great and the food is good too. It is a nice break to go be with some people from the community that I do not typically see. It is my way of staying connected to Waynesboro outside of the congregation. But I have to admit that sometimes I wonder why I am a member of the club. I pay $45 dollars a month to eat with this group. In my mind I think that I am a member because it helps me serve the community and it helps me to be a community person. But every so often I wonder, can I not find a cheaper way to do this. My mind thinks “that $45 dollars would really be nice to spend on something else.” So I wonder occasionally why I remain a member of the club. There are some really good big results like I am helping people to defeat polio and I am helping people across the world to have clean drinking water. I am all for these projects. But sometimes I need some practical reasons why I am doing something. I need something that I can feel and taste in the present, not just in the future.
Maybe you have felt this way about church before? Why do you continue to bother coming to church? Every Sunday rounds around and you get up and come. Some of us come out of habit. We could not picture ourselves doing anything but this. Some of us come out of obligation. Some of us would prefer not to come, but we do because of family. Maybe we have all asked this question before in our lives. Why bother coming to church every week? We know of the big reasons. You know, you need to come to go to heaven. We all want this. We all want to go to heaven. But if you are like me, you need some here and now answers to why come to church. You can think of a lot of different ways to spend a Sunday, especially if you have worked all week and this is your only time off. Why get all the children dressed up and bring them to church? Why fight with the husband who wants you to stay home? Why spend your time on Sunday morning listening to some message that the preacher thinks you need and sing some songs that you do not even know and certainly would never let any hear you sing outside of the church building. So have you ever asked yourself why bother coming to church. Why be part of a church family?
You know the big reason—heaven. But some everyday reasons would be great to know. One of the biggest, practical, everyday reasons for me is relationships. The church offers relationships of such a variety that no other human group that I know of develops. Relations are so important in life. Think about life without relationships; it is impossible. We need relationships. In fact God created us for relationship. In the beginning God made man with woman, but this was not good. God had a relationship throughout eternity with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Man is made in the image of God and hence made for relationships. And the church was made to provide meaningful and various relationships. In the church you meet more than people your age. You meet people who are older than you, younger than you, poorer than you, and richer than you. You meet people with different interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. You just never know who you will meet in a church building. You can expand your horizons; you can grow in knowledge, and learn how to fix a car. There is no end to the different types of relationships that you will make in church. I have learned how to invest because of church, I have learned how to golf because of church, and I have learned how to be a father better because of church. Church is more than just waiting to go to heaven. The church provides needed skills to learn to handle life successfully. The church is here to help us through life.
Paul talks about how the church is different and the same. Everyone is united and everyone is different. Everyone adds some special to the congregation. We are all equal in Christ and we are all special to Christ. Through the diversity in the church, we can develop different relationships with different people. In 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.” We need this diversity. We need single mothers, older men, younger ladies. We need families with no kids and families with tons of kids. We need retired couples, working couples, and odd couples. All of this diversity adds to the beauty of the church. This is why the foot of the church should not be discouraged. The ear should rejoice that he is different from the eyes and not try to become an eye. Imagine if everyone in the congregation were eyes, no one could hear anything. Imagine if the congregation were all older people, there would be no joy of seeing the children. Imagine if everyone was younger with kids, there would be no wisdom and no help being grandparents. Everyone has a part of the congregation. We need each other.