“One Anothering” in the Church – March “Tabletalk”

TT-March-2016Yesterday I dug into some of the featured articles in the March issue of Tabletalk, the theme of which is “One Another,” that is, living in the communion of saints so that we “welcome one another,” serve one another,” “forgive one another,” “submit to one another,” and other “one anothers” that belong to our life in the fellowship of the church (a total of nine “one anothers” are dealt with in this issue).

Editor Burk Parsons has an excellent introduction to this theme, part of which I quote here. I encourage you to read the rest of it, and to start reading the various “one another” articles. The two I read yesterday, “Welcome One Another” and “Submit to One Another” are very edifying.

If you have forgotten what it means to live in the body of Christ, or have started to pull away from your fellow saints, or have left the church altogether – for whatever reason, you need to read this editorial and these articles. They will show why you need your fellow saints – and why they need you.

Here then is an excerpt from Parson’s editorial:

The love language of all marriages is self-denial. When both husband and wife are consumed not with their own immediate happiness but with the happiness of one another, they will enjoy a happy marriage. The same is true for enduring friendships and for authentic community.

With the disintegration of marriage has come the dissolution of community. As such, community has fallen on hard times. What every generation in every society in all of history has enjoyed, the rising generation will have to fight for. With the rise of online communities, online church, and online everything, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, shoulder-to-shoulder community has become increasingly difficult to find. Moreover, many don’t know what real community is and thus don’t know what to look for. Real community doesn’t happen on its own—it takes time, patience, repentance, forgiveness, and love that covers a multitude of sins. The church community is not just a crowd of people on a Sunday morning; it is the gathered, worshiping people of God in a congregation where masks aren’t needed and where real friends help bear the real burdens of one another. Community is not just getting together; it is living together, suffering together, rejoicing together, and dying together.

Source: The Orthodoxy of Community by Burk Parsons | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org

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