Message From Matt | April 27, 2018

Togetherness!

About 30 years ago, I was part of a group of 7 teenage boys that went on a two week trip with our youth pastor, Terry Cooper, called the M.I.G.H.T. trip (Men in Godly Heritage Training).  The plan for the trip called for us to load up in a conversion van here in Indy, drive 1,400 miles one way to Sunsites, Arizona, have us “city boys” stay for a week in the Chiricahua Mountains, then drive back.  Sounds like an easy trip, right? Uh…no!

In fact, as you are reading this, you might be thinking that Terry had to be crazy to come up with the idea to take all of us out there on that long trip…and you would be right!  Think about it;  the smells coming from that van alone had to be unbearable and there were events that happened on that trip that left some of us with scars.  While on the trip we had a hospital visit, Brian Arms nearly fell to his death off a high cliff, our van just barely made it up the mountain, and our campsite was invaded by a band of skunks that drank our hot chocolate that was simmering over a camp fire.  There were some not-so-great moments on the trip; yet, that trip was one of the most memorable and positive events in my life!  

While on this trip, we not only camped out on top of the mountains and witnessed millions of stars in the sky, but one night camped out at a truck stop, with a few of us sleeping on the roof of the van for the night, thankfully not rolling off.  We also stayed overnight at a church  along the way and we wound up laughing with and at each other late into the night until we “busted a gut”.  We also visited the Grand Canyon, Old Tucson, and other sites.  I met my future brother–in-law, Chris Healey, on the trip and his brother Pat became one of my best friends a few years later.  There were so many things that happened on that trip that it  still seems fresh in my mind!

Looking back on this trip, there was such a strong sense of “togetherness” that I felt with those guys that today I still feel a bond with each guy when our paths cross.  

This sense of togetherness must be what the early church had to feel (at a greater level than I have known) as they were a new family of believers that did life together.  Luke writes in Acts 2:44-45, “And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.” 

As the early church had a close bond of unity, I believe that today, as we get closer to Jesus’ return, we need to have a close bond of unity as well!  We are not at the point where I think we need to sell all of our belongings so we can give them to others, but we are most definitely at the place that we should be growing close to one another and do so by loving and helping each other.  

The apostle Paul spoke much on doing things together and for each other!  He said…

  • We should be perfectly joined together with the same mind – 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • We are laborers together with God – 1 Corinthians 3:9
  • That we shouldn’t be unequally yoked together – 2 Corinthians 6:14
  • That we are made alive together with Christ – Ephesians 2:5
  • We are fitly framed together as a family – Ephesians 2:21-22
  • That we are knitted together in love – Colossians 2:2, 19
  • That we will one day be caught up together to meet Jesus in the clouds – 1 Thessalonians 4:17
Paul was all about being together!  He was very relational and as we live in tough times, we too need to be together.  Paul wrote in Hebrews 10:25“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
As a body of believers let’s come together even more than what we are already!  If there is any hindrance to our fellowship, let’s seek to make things right so that we can have close fellowship.  Maybe we need to show more care for one another.  Maybe we need to pick up the phone to check on someone today.  Maybe this weekend, or sometime soon, we can help out one of our elderly church members and mow their yard or help clean their house.  Togetherness is a great thing – let’s work to make it happen. 
 
Matt Roller