Have you ever asked yourself, why you go to church? It’s a good question to ask from time to time. One good reason is friendship. In fact being friends is a great reason to meet together. Some people may think that friendship is an inadequate reason to go to church because you can be with your friends anywhere. And there might be something in that, it’s not a bad reason but by itself it probably isn’t enough.
The thing is in the church we’re friends because of someone and for something. We’re friends first and foremost because of Jesus. His death and resurrection defeating sin, defeating evil, defeating fear and death and offering hope, forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration has changed us. It changed us from living in darkness to living in light, it changed us from lost to found, it changed us from guilty to not guilty and it changed us from lost orphans to adopted children of God. As His children we discover ourselves to be in a family that is made up of other adopted children from every nation, every tribe and every tongue. So we find ourselves here – in the church with many others not like us but just like us, united by something very powerful. It’s not a coming together based on having similar interests (I like food, you like food, great lets be friends) but ‘Jesus saved me and by the looks of it he saved you too’ and now we are family.
We come together because of someone. This coming together because of Jesus Christ – the Bible calls fellowship. The first church was devoted to fellowship, to this family they discovered and this devotion was seen in remarkable ways. They regularly ate together – now it’s not uncommon for friends to eat together we see that everywhere, but in the church we see people who wouldn’t otherwise be friends and who in fact might instead be enemies eating together as family. Rich eating with poor, Jew and Gentile, slave and free – all came together as one in Christ. They showed this devotion by freely sharing what they had with each other because they understood that they were family and all that they had came from their father in heaven anyway, so they met each others needs. They helped each other in practical, tangible ways!