“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again
The head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’”
(1 Corinthians 12:21)
If you were brought up faithfully attending Sunday School every Sunday anywhere from the mid 1940’s to the late 1980’s you would have learned some important lessons, as I did, about serving ‘together’ in the church. It was punctuated by a popular little song, first published in 1943, that went like this:
When we all pull together, together, together
When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be
For your work is my work and our work is God’s work
When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be!
The importance of togetherness has it’s natural foundation in understanding our place of need. The fact is, we’re all needy. None of us are self-sufficient – even though many times we’d like to think we are! Our salvation is proof of that. We could not save ourselves. We needed a savior and He came in the person of Jesus Christ. In the framework of the Body of Christ we need each other to fulfill the work of the kingdom that God has in mind. How do we know that? God has not put every gift inside of a single person but has spread the gifts around in His Body, the church. That is why our text above makes sense when we read, “The eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of you.” Notice again, we need each other!
Any time we’re tempted to think we don’t need one another we should remember that the scriptures were given by God the Holy Spirit. That being the case, we must then recognize that it is God through the Holy Spirit that is saying we need each other. Anybody care to disagree with God who knows best and knows all things??
Togetherness in the church family, the Body of Christ, finds its expression in several realms. The following are a few of those ‘togetherness’ areas:
1. Putting God first in our relationships – It was Jonathan who said to David, “The Lord be between me and thee.” (1 Samuel 20:42). If the Lord is central to our relationships diversity within unity will thrive and the work of the Kingdom will be done.
2. Keeping Him as the center of our personal and corporate worship – We must always remember that true worship is not about us and our preferences, it’s about Him. Our personal and corporate worship must explode in honor of Him! (John 4:24)
3. Pursuing unity of heart and spirit – sometimes we can work together but our heart is not in it. Our unity must be more than agreement from our head, but it must be unity from the heart and spirit that breeds enthusiasm to accomplish the work of God. (Ephesians 4:3).
4. Being faithful in exercising our spiritual gifts – Paul exhorted Timothy, “Stir up the gift that is within you!” (2 Timothy 1:6). ‘Stir up’ in the Greek here means to ‘bring up the life of'. There is the life of the Spirit in our spiritual gifts. We must let that life flow by exercising what we’ve been graciously given.
5. Being sensitive to the needs of one another – It is so easy to be self-absorbed. IF we look around and are sensitive to each other needs in the Body and the fellowship we can be of great help to one another (Acts 2:45). This, in turn, helps all of us to contribute at full capacity to what God is asking us to do as a church.
6. Being committed to being present when the church family or fellowship gathers – It’s easy for us to slack off and think they won’t miss us at church or national and regional conventions of the fellowship if we’re not there. The fact is, every part is needed. You wouldn’t think of wanting to come to a meeting of any kind and leave part of your body at home. We don’t want parts of the Body to be lacking at any gathering of the local church family get-to-gethers!! (Hebrews 10:25)
Let’s never forget that we’re all needy and we’re all needed!!! Author, Phillip James Bailey made a great observation when he wrote, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success!” Yes … togetherness!!!