Health has become a focus today in society, physical, emotional and even spiritual health. We throw everything at our desire to be healthy...and by “we”, I literally mean most of the world. Yoga, meditation, vegetables...especially non-GMO or organic, counselling, salt crystals, magnetic bracelets, fitness classes, diets and more. Most of society agrees, rightly I believe, that health is important, and those that don’t want to be healthy are given opportunities to realize why they don’t want to be healthy and then, in turn, join the quest to become healthy. Health is good.
Now I would say, gently, that as long as we are human, there will be areas of our life that are unhealthy. This is not an attack; this is recognizing our inability to be perfect. People are not designed to be perfect, if we were, we wouldn’t need a Saviour. And if by some miracle Jesus made you perfect, truly I have never heard of anyone reaching perfection. All you would have to do is live another few hours and something would occur, you would react imperfectly, and you’d have to ask for forgiveness and start again. Our journey with Jesus is one about dependence on Him. We will always need Him because only He is perfect and died for us. Praise God!
Now going back to health, a common problem can be that someone who may have realized a truth about being healthy may in their joy, start to look down on others who haven’t learned whatever nugget of truth the learner has gained. So, in our very recognition of a truth about becoming heathy, we can in fact risk falling into pride or a judgemental or critical attitude towards others. This my beautiful friends is something we must be very careful of. Judgment and pride are lethal. Especially when we look at the Body of Christ. Paul talks at length about different roles in the Body of Christ.
The book of Acts shows us how the believers worked together as an organic organism, growing, and supporting each other while reaching out to the Roman Empire. And grow they did...and with growth comes more people, who bring more imperfection. We are after all human. We see in Paul’s letters the issues that come up that he needs to address. Areas where they were getting off track. Paul doesn’t leave them because he disagrees with their behaviour, but he doesn’t stay silent either. Because he passionately loves the body of Christ. Not Paul’s church, not Timothy’s church, not Apollo’s church or Cephas’s church...the body of Christ. He pleads with us:
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." - Ephesians 4:1-6
I believe Paul couldn't have cared any less about where the believers met...just that they met, broke bread, fellowshipped and listened to the apostles.
"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." - Acts 2:42-47
I know there can be a tendency to focus on the signs and wonders on this passage. I think the bigger and more attractive miracle was that the believers were “all in”. Fully committed to following Christ and supporting each other in that journey. They literally sold everything they had to provide for each other. They met in homes and the temple...but those that weren’t in Jerusalem just met in homes. They were all in, not in supporting their own particular fellowship group, but in following Jesus. They didn’t care where they were meeting as much as who they were following. When they got bigger, yes, their humanity, their imperfection complicated things. Paul corrects the believers:
"For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarrelling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”" - 1 Corinthians 1:11-12
Let’s be all in, loving our Jesus as the body of Christ, walking in humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with each other, in love enabled by the Spirit, pursuing his Kingdom on Earth. Our buildings aren’t the point, where we meet isn’t our focus. But our unity in following Jesus and who He is, that is crucial.