Galatians 3:26-28 says; “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Paul says that there is now no distinction between those of us who are in Christ. We are one. This reflects the prayer of Jesus in John 17 that we may be one even as he and the Father are one. .Jesus was actually praying for us to experience the kind of oneness with each other that he and the Father share. That's astounding!
So what difference should this make for the local church community - for you and me? I was thinking about this very thing this morning before I read this verse. One of the primary and best reasons to come to church is not for what you will receive, but for what you can give. This is true even for those not directly involved in a ministry.
Every week, people will walk through the doors of our churches who need love, encouragement, support, a word of comfort or counsel or just simple, uncomplicated friendship. And you can be there for that person. So many church goers think, "Oh, there is nothing special going on this week. I won't miss much. And I don't really have a job there so I can skip this time." But it's not a matter of what you will miss. It's a matter of who will miss you.
It's the word you could share that goes unspoken. It's the handshake or embrace you could offer that is absent. It's the opportunity for life-changing friendship that gets missed. A team needs all of its players to be successful. When game time comes, and players do not show when they could, how is that even called a team, much less a life-changing community?
Paul says, and Jesus prays for us to be one. We are to be one in Christ, one in heart and mind and purpose. And we all have a part to play. We are all needed. We are all important. There are no distinctions. We are one. And when we see ourselves and begin to act as one, nothing can stop us from being the agents of transformation and change God has called us to be.
So forget about going to church for what you will get from it. That will happen anyway. Go to church for the life-changing difference you can make and the opportunity to bless someone who is likely coming because they need what only you, as a follower of Jesus can offer.