Pastor Keith Williams,
High Prairie Bethel Baptist Church
Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy.
During WW2, the German wolf packs were sinking many ships that tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean bringing supplies for the war effort.
But that changed for the better when the ships gathered and travelled in a convoy.
They were safer and were attacked less.
The same principle can, in a way, be applied to humans.
Every individual knows that he or she was created for community.
The devil is on the lookout for the Christian who thinks he or she can stand alone in from the fellowship, accountability and encouragement of faithful brothers and sisters.
God created Adam, the first man, and said it is not good that he should be alone.
So, God created woman.
God blessed mankind with the most beautiful, intimate and joyous relationship that exists between mere human beings: holy wedlock between a man and a woman.
From that glorious union, He called them to multiply themselves into communities that would populate and dominate creation to share life and glorify God together.
God gave each of us an insatiable hunger to experience life together – life’s joy’s and passions and life’s sorrows and burdens.
Men need men and women need women.
Younger men and women need to listen to and learn from the wisdom and experiences of older men and women.
Older men and women need the passion and patience to sit down and tell their stories and lessons to the next generation.
Women need authentic relationships with other women to form the enduring companionship of sisterhood that not only detests divisive gossip and grudges but defends, encourages and bears the burdens of every woman so that no woman is left alone to fend for herself in serving the Lord in her many callings.
Even though many men are completely content with the community and companionship of images, games and voices on a screen, men desperately need the camaraderie and fraternity from other men.
Men are made to experience authentic, loyal and enduring friendships with other men – on the battlefield, in the foxhole, at the gates of the city and at the coffee shop on the corner.
And while no wise and truly humble man will ever consider himself a hero, each and every man of God, by His grace, is called to strive to conquer this world, his flesh, and the devil shoulder-to-shoulder with other men, who together, serve one another in a company of heroes as husbands and dads who serve by leading their wives, families, churches, and communities into fellowship with God.
Don’t get me wrong.
There are times when I like to be alone with my thoughts and prayers, especially in God’s great outdoors.
There is nothing wrong with that.
I know a lot of people who call themselves Christians, but never go to church; never have the privilege of fellowship with other Christians; never get to feel the sense of belonging to a church family; never get to experience the highs and lows of a Christian community.
That makes me sad.
I have asked why, on occasion, and the answer most often given is “there is a lot of hypocrites at church”.
And let’s be honest; they are correct, there is.
But I suppose it comes down to how you define hypocrite.
If it is because we seem to struggle with the same things you do, well, of course, we do.
If you define hypocrite as a man or woman that goes to church on Sunday and then leads a pagan life the rest of the week, I again would have to agree that’s not genuine Christianity.
But thankfully, that isn’t all of us.
As that great theologian Red Green used to say – “We’re all in this together; keep your stick on the ice.”