“I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14, ESV)
I have the privilege of teaching and preaching to a fine congregation of people. I get to lead a discussion of a small group of men every Saturday morning at 8 AM. I teach a class every Sunday. I preach on occasion, I lead other groups throughout the week, and I have lots of conversations. This past week as I was preparing a sermon for Sunday, it occurred to me how many of the thoughts I’ve been working through did not originate with me. I got them from someone else, and I’m not talking about books, or professional scholars. I’ve received so many good insights from the people I regularly meet with to discuss the Bible, theology, and Jesus.
I appreciate those people. I appreciate the church. I appreciate the fact that there are people who really want to live and journey with Jesus and with me. I appreciate the fact that I have people around me who spend time in scripture, who think about what it means for their life, who want to have authentic and honest conversations, and who want to live like Jesus. I affirm with Paul that I know Christians who are full of goodness, and filled with knowledge of Jesus, who are willing and able to share it. I appreciate the fellowship, and the friendship.
I know that some of you feel being around church and being around Christians is difficult. Some of you may have been hurt, and for good reason, you want to just stay away. Maybe you have allowed other distractions to keep you from fellowship. Maybe your kid’s soccer league has taken over your life. Whatever the reason, just like too much living in the Christian bubble is unhealthy, too little time spent in the company of other follower’s of Jesus isn’t good either. We need one another, even when it isn’t always the way we wish it was. There is encouragement found where Jesus is, and most of the time, I find Jesus with his people.