Herald JournalColumns
Feb. 13, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

A community of followers

By Rev. Steve Thorson, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cokato

Why “church?” Isn’t a personal relationship with Jesus enough? Not if we accept what the Bible has to say about Jesus.

Jesus gathered a community of followers. He expected those followers to stick together and to gather more. Never did Jesus want his people to just have a personal relationship with him, alone. That relationship always involved others.

It’s dangerous to be a Christian alone. Isolated believers become prey to deadly spiritual forces and poisonous spiritual ideas. Yes, God protects us through the gathering of people to hear the preaching of God’s Word and to receive the Lord’s Supper.

God gathers people. When we gather to hear and believe God’s Word, we find the key to a healthy spiritual life, that is, to love all those other people who aren’t always so loveable.

In the Bible, 1John 4:20 teaches us that we can’t love God who we can’t see unless we love others who we can see. This teaching exposes demons of unforgiveness, hatred, and prejudice within, among, and around us.

Through His Word, God works among us. He humbles us. This humility leads us to become loving, one week at a time.

So we gather, and we bring others to gather with us, that all may be a part of Christ’s love.

Pray that each and every citizen of our area will find a welcome place to hear God’s Word and share in the Lord’s Supper.

Pray that those of us who already have church families will be passionate disciples, doing all we can to leave no one alone.

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