These words from Paul, writing to the church in Colosse, can be found in Colossians 1:3-4. What a statement Paul makes about the faith of a people he has never met.
In a day when it seems like more and more people are abandoning the church in favor of respite time or in our corner of the world those who are working in the oil field, which seldom seems to slow down, can barely get a gasp of air if they are not working Sunday, there is an increasing lack of a sense of urgency to make church a priority.
In the days Paul was writing, there was no twitter, facebook, cell phones, texting to allow us to feel connected without being physically in another’s presence. I have heard it said many times that we have never been so connected to others, yet we are so far apart.
With the advent of podcasts and other sources of media we can connect to a church without even stepping in the door. We can hear challenging and inspiring messages from pastors all over the world, but there is something missing in the face to face reality of gathering together to worship God.
While many spiritual people speak of how they connect with God while out in the blind, on the lake, or even on a golf course the reality is that just watching the sun rise in the morning should bring us to our knees at the sheer wonder of all the God has created. I find it much more invigorating to do so with a group of people. While we may be connected electronically in more ways than we can count, it will never replace the necessity for face to face conversations.
As the church, we might consider ways in which we can be showing our love of God to the point that people in other parts of the world will not only pray for us, but give thanks to God for what God is doing through the faithful members of the church universal. Church should be a place of excitement and new life, so that all may praise God. It is not about me or my brand, church is about the people of God gathering to celebrate and refuel for another day.
May God open your heart to see how important you are and how you are needed to gather in fellowship often.
George Barcus is senior pastor at Fannin United Methodist Church