An old familiar story is told of a man who separated himself from his church. After a while, the pastor paid him a visit. They sat by the fire but didn’t speak. Shortly after sitting down, the pastor move a hot coal away from the flames. Several minutes passed. Separated from the fire, the coal could no longer sustain its warm, red glow. After a time, the pastor moved the coal back near the flames and soon the glow returned. The man received the message.
No matter how we may try, we cannot maintain fellowship with Christ if we do not have fellowship with God’s people. Left to ourselves, the fire of our faith diminishes into a cold, self-serving belief that we can sustain faith by ourselves. This, of course, is a lie. As Christ calls Christians to follow, he calls us to be in relationship with one another.
Together, as members of the body of Christ, we are to love one another, bear one another’s burdens, and work together to strengthen the entire body. As the author of Ecclesiastes teaches us, two are stronger than one. If one falls, the other is there to lift him up. Disciples of Jesus Christ understand the call to be in fellowship with one another. Together, working in faith and love, we are able to bear fruit for the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Strengthen us in your love, O Lord, and keep your people in fellowship with one another. Amen.