They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42–47, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Read any good books lately? Here’s a line from the last book I read. “Whoever we are and whatever we do, our families hold us together like glue. Whenever we need them, they’ll come when we call. They’re ready to catch us if ever we fall.” (Patricia Hegarty, “We Are Family”).
This is true about “real” families (or at least it should be), and it is true about churches (or at least it should be). Yet just about every survey reveals that church attendance continues to decline, even among those who claim to be committed Christians. While the overall decline is not surprising in a culture that is becoming more and more secularized, the decline among committed Christians should be. Perhaps an indication that the culture is having an increasingly greater impact even among the self-professed committed faithful than their faithfulness would suggest.
When people withdraw from a family, “real” or the Church, they are withdrawing from both the benefits that the family provides and the responsibilities that it requires. And while worship can and does happen just about anywhere, fellowship and accountability cannot.
My Advice – “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up [forsake the] meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:22–25, NIV 1984). If we’ve made a habit of forsaking the fellowship of believers, this verse is saying that we are not holding on “unswervingly” to the faith that we profess. If so, then we need to consider how that might affect us, the family of believers we “belong” to, and the “well done good and ‘faithful’ servant” greeting we hope to hear some day.
By the way, the book I just read, it was a children’s book that I read to my grandson. Now at three months he does not understand what is being read to him but is soothes him. Devotion to the fellowship is not only soothing to the soul, but also child’s play (a task which is easily accomplished).