Thursday, August 24, 2017

Everyone needs a flock to call their own

“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”
Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47 NLT

As soon as I received my box, I knew something wasn't right. This little box that I had just picked up from the post office should have been chirping and peeping as I brought 8 little chicks home to my little homestead. But something wasn't right; the box was way too quiet. When I opened the box, I was broken-hearted to find 6 of the chicks had passed en route, a seventh was not well at all, and only one chick remained standing on its two little chick feet. The last chick standing snuggled with its buddy until the sick little chick had breathed its last. And then the little chick began to cry. Chicks, much like people, were not meant to be alone.

We named her Beulah, and although we provided Beulah with everything a chick could ever want, she continued to cry. Beulah needed a chick family. My husband jumped in the van and drove to the nearest Tractor Supply so that he could bring Beulah a whole new chick family. As soon as we placed those new chicks in with Beulah, she stopped crying and snuggled right up to her new friends. Beulah was happy again.

Chicks, much like people, were not meant to be alone. We all need a flock, a tribe of our own, to belong. I think of that when I read the Acts passage about the early Christian church. They didn't just worship together, they did life together. They shared meals. They made sacrifices in order to meet each others needs. They spent time together. They studied and learned about God together. And they prayed together. Churches today look very different than that early church, but the essentials are always the same: studying the Bible in order to know Christ more fully, helping each other, sharing meals, worshiping together, spending time together, and praying together.

People, much like chickens, weren't meant to be alone. If we really believe in Jesus, we need a tribe, a flock, a church family to call our very own. And it's hard to get to church services when you have a child or children with special needs. Medical problems, behavioral problems, social anxieties, exhaustion, just to name a few, can make it nearly impossible to get there. But you need to be there. Not every church needs to look like a mega-church, or a large church, or a fancy or famous church. It might just be a few folks that gather in your living room on a Saturday morning or a few hundred folks coming together on a Sunday in the fire hall. You need a church family who will support you, encourage you, and help to meet your needs as well as be devoted to Bible reading, spending time together, sharing meals together, and to prayer. Because people, just like chickens, weren't meant to be alone. We all need a family that comes together in the name of Christ.

Dear God,
Thank you for creating amazing churches of all shapes and sizes. Please help me to plug in to a church that studies Your Word, prays, and eats together and spends time together and helps each other. Please remove the obstacles that get in the way of my church attendance. And if a church doesn't exist that meets my needs, please give me the wisdom and the knowledge to start a church that follows You. Amen

Amanda Furbeck

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