While driving home from work tonight I saw one of those church message boards. It said … “Visitors welcome, members expected.” I’m not a big fan of those messages, and I’m sure the church didn’t mean to send a negative message. God used the message to remind me that the church has the awesome responsibility to demonstrate the joy of fellowship.
In The Message, Peterson paraphrases a portion of 1 John 1 this way … “now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! … if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.”
If we are experiencing communion with God, the Father and a shared life with one another, we have great joy … not just in our individual hearts but also joy in celebrating this life together.
There is a story attributed to Arrien and Olson about the formation of geese: FACT 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. … People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
FACT 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. … If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
God created the geese, taught them how to fly in formation … quite possibly to be a visual picture for us … to remind us how to take care of one another in fellowship.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.