Ponder and Pray

[ 0 ] February 20, 2009 |

Poignant statement: You can be committed to Church but not committed to Christ, but you cannot be committed to Christ and not committed to church.


 

Scripture: 1 Corinthian 12
Subject: Flying in Formation

A few days ago I read a very beautiful illustration on church and I want to share with you this. Let me quote the article “Ever wonder why the geese in the autumn fly in V formation and not just randomly? Geese know that to complete the long trip south they have to fly united. Scientists tell that flying in formation increases their flight range by 71%. Air waves created each time a bird flaps its wings provide uplift for the next one in formation, supporting it decreasing its work load and conserving its energy. Solo goose could never complete the travel but in formation the youngest the oldest and ever the weakest get there. In other words they accomplish collectively what they could never do alone. So this is a beautiful example depicting the church in motion.

Why do geese fly in a V? Because Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves two important purposes:
First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.
The second benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Fighter pilots often use this formation for the same reason.
Ever since becoming a Christian for the last 43 years I have been associated with a local church and I am 100% committed to being part of a local church. I go to church because I am an integral member of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So when God said “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing but let us encourage one another” He was saying ‘stay in formation’. You survive because of others and others survive because of you’

There are precious lessons for the church from the migration pattern of geese and I want to share them with you.

Church is a wonderful body of believers. We have firm set of belief and this is shared by all believers in the world. Some are ancient confessions or creeds and some are new but all of them give us specific faith which cannot be changed. Let me quote for you one of the simplest and fullest one. I think all believers should know this by heart as this is the crux of our faith. One of the best confessions I have come across is the following:

We believe
…in the Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, and entirely trustworthy; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work, and His Personal return in power and glory…

The Salvation of lost and sinful man through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith apart from works, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit…

The Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ…
The Unity of the Spirit of all true believers, the Church, the Body of Christ…

The Resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

The church has all sorts of people. It has strong and weak, slow and fast, wise and foolish, rich and poor, growing and not growing, young and old. The wind created by the combined flapping of wings of thousands of geese gives power to all. In the same way the wind of the Holy Spirit carries us to our destination. Many times in our church life we are not aware of wind of the Holy Spirit and we try to create our own winds with all sorts of program to motivate people but when then Holy Spirit moves in our heart we will be motivated. All that the leaders need to do is make sure that these motivated ones are put in right formation.

My security is in the hand of my fellow believers. We find safety in numbers as we encourage each other and defend each other. Spartan of the ancient Greece developed a war strategy which was very effective. It was known as phalanx which in today’s English term means a group of people standing, or moving forward closely together. I must have someone beside me who covers and protects me and I must also be ready to defend my fellow soldier. How true in the kingdom of God too. My very survival depends on the alertness and health of the one beside me and if one of us becomes weak then there is a chance that our enemies will easily break through our weak defenses and bring shame to the name of the Lord. While the geese go on a long journey it is very important that all come within a perfect formation and all fly in perfect harmony. If they do not do this then they will collide and injure each other.

In order to traverse long and full of ordeal journey it is important that we have one agenda and no one does his own thing. It is said that if one of the geese decides to fly on his own he will be lost, hurt and not complete the needed journey. So it is extremely important that all know what is expected of us and what the purpose of flying in one direction is and how we reach there.

It seems the geese have their assigned place and change places according to the need. How many of us do not want to be where God wants us and thereby cause conflict and division.

God is increasing His people among the Nepali people. One of the things we have to note is that today the church is also seeing schism and disharmony. It should not happen but it does happen. It happened in the times of apostles and has been all through the centuries. You and I have a choice to either part or cause of the splits and division or part of those who work and live for the unity of the church. Do we want to be a goose who wants to do his own thing and chart his own way or be part of the group in this long and difficult journey.

Let us also be aware that becoming a Christian is relatively easy but to continue to be a vibrant and growing Christian is another. We need all the help we can get from God, His Word and His people in order to continue our ordeal filled journey and reach our destination safely. We neglect the church to our own peril because a lonely Christian is a vulnerable Christian. Do not neglect being part of the church. Give to church what you have and receive what the church gives you.

Poignant statement: You can be committed to Church but not committed to Christ, but you cannot be committed to Christ and not committed to church.


Prayer:

 

Lord, What a privilege you have given me to be part of your church. Help me always to be of one mind and one goal with my brothers and sisters. Let me not only see what I need but also be aware of the needs of the others in the church.

Republished in new layout on 8/19/2013

Previous Comment

Thank you!
written by Bhojraj Bhatta , February 28, 2009

“You cannot be committed to Christ, and not committed to Church”, this is a thought provoking statement and true. But we need to see if the concept of the church in Nepali speaking world matches with what the Bible presents. Have we attempted to demonstrate the right image of the church? My fear is that up until now, we (leaders) have used the church (bunch of people who were attracted to Christianity for various reasons) for material gains for our personal lives.

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Category: Devotion