Monday, August 10

Apostles' Creed Focus

“the holy catholic church, the communion of saints”


Reflection Verse

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:24-2


Reflection

If you have seen the TV show “Community,” you know that just about anything can bring people together. Getting through the daunting time of graduating from a low-tier community college is what brought the characters in this show together. They come from varying backgrounds, age groups, ethnicities, lifestyles, and personalities. Despite all of those things, going through college together brought lasting friendships to the character’s portrayed throughout the seasons (and many laughs for the audience as well).

In a funny way, Christian community mirrors this pattern too. No matter where you’ve been or who you are, Christ should be the firmest glue in creating solid and lasting relationships. Not where you went to school, your hobbies, your favorite sports team, or where you work, but Christ is the greatest community driver. 

If the Bible has anything to say about this, it’s that community is vitally important to the Christian walk. Hebrews 10:24-25 brings about the point that we should always be striving to create healthy and encouraging time with the body of Christ. So much so, that it becomes a habitual part of our lives. The author holds the practices up high because of its importance to our well-being.

There may not be a more surefire way that leads to the festering of discouragement and stagnant behavior than to remove oneself from healthy, frequent relationships. God has wired us to be together and going against this plan is no different than swimming upstream (and yes, you will eventually get tired!).

How are you doing when it comes to Christian community? Are you actively engaging with the body of Christ? Do you have lasting and healthy relationships around you? Where can you place yourself to see people with different gifts and personalities who can be an encouragement to you? Be encouraged that God wired you for a relationship with others and he came through with an answer for that wiring: The Body of Christ.
 


Prayer

Thank you Lord for giving me the tangible experience of Christian community. Through others' varying gifts and personalities, I’m able to see just how great you are and how much you really care for us! Please place a burden for my own community on my hard and give me new ways of engaging others around me. Amen.


Verses for Further Reflection

Galatians 6:2, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Acts 2:42-47


Family Focus

Ask one family member to hold a single book above their head with flat palms. Give them a few seconds to feel the weight and ask them if this is getting hard. The delay is key to making the task harder with fewer books. If they are ready for more, carefully place another book on the stack. Repeat this process until the books slide off.  Most kids will lose the balance of the books and they will slide off.  Congratulate them for the effort, but remark how hard it must be to keep adding weight.

“This is something like following Jesus. It may feel easy at first but over time it can feel heavy. The world we live in, plus our own hearts, is like a constant force making it hard to follow God’s plan. But God gave us a wonderful gift. It’s a group of friends who are all working together to learn how to love God & love other people. It’s called the church!  Let’s see if it is easier if we try this hard task together.”

Get 2 family members to try holding the books together. As you add more books, remark how it’s still hard but much easier than doing it alone. 

This object lesson deals with a common error kids make when thinking about the church. They often imagine it as another place they go (like school or the movies) rather than a group of people. Take this opportunity to emphasize how the church is a group of Christians who spend time with and learn how to follow Jesus together. For older kids, this is a great opportunity to talk about their own choice of a church when they move out of your house. It’s a little hint toward their future ownership of their own faith and discipleship.