A year ago or so, I was working in the shed in the backyard. It was spring when it is time to bring out the pots readying them for the next years annual planting. The usual suspects of pots were stacked up from the season prior. The pots full of soil were so dried out, it would seem impossible that even a good soaking would revive them. But alas, enough water can bring nearly any pot of soil back to supporting plant life. As I pulled one pot off of another, a ghostly sight appeared. A plant had not been completely pulled out of a pot prior to storing it for the winter.
I can’t tell you the scientific name of the plant, but I can tell you that I recognized it as one that typically was dark green. Instead though of being dark green, it was pale yellow, emaciated, and gaunt. But it was trying. Trying to grow in a place where it was nearly impossible to grow—squished between pots, dark, a cold winter, and NO water. This sight gave me insight into the life of a Christ-follower.
Just as a plant needs both water and sunlight, we humans need both communion with God and community with one another. Paul uses the imagery of a body to describe the unity among believers. We need one another to function properly. I need the love, care, spiritual wisdom, correction, and encouragement that other believers provide within the church context. To attempt a life of faith apart from the church is like placing a plant in a dark room. It will do what it is intended to do, yet is in no way healthy. We need the radiance of Christ that shines from other believers so we don’t lose heart.
The Spirit makes us alive and works in our lives through the Word, obedience, and the fellowship of the body. Just like my plant that reaches for the sun, may we actively turn our hearts toward Christ, finding nourishment and strength as we abide in him. And dually, reaching out in fellowship with other believers. It is only then, can any of us walk in loving God, loving people, and serving the world.