What is the church? And what can we liken it to in John the Revelator?
"I, John, your brother and co-sharer in the affliction and kingdom and steadfastness in Jesus..."
In our, "Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" series, the church are those who share. Whether you have an unpleasant task and then another comes and does it with you. Or maybe you have a crushing debt and another comes and helps pay some of it. Or maybe you are stricken with grief and another comes and sits silently in grief with you. Or maybe one comes and serves you in your time of need. Or maybe one picks you up when you have stumbled and puts your pack on their back for a while so you may take a few more steps or maybe they email you when you feel alone and forgotten and tell you they have prayed for you. Or maybe there is good to be done but there is too much and one comes and joins you in the work. Or maybe there is praise to be sung and you cannot sing harmony and melody alone. The point is, the church is many acting as one. You cannot share the gifts you have been given by yourself. You cannot share the work you have been given without co-workers. You cannot be in a family alone. You could not even have been alone. It two just to make you. You may grow a little alone, but you will grow faster and fuller in tandem. You may bear a little adversity by yourself, but you can bear terrible burdens with more hands upon the weight. It is God who gives you strength and most often, it is His delight to give it in the form of your brothers and sisters of the kingdom.
"Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, complete my joy, so that you are in agreement, having the same love, united in spirit, having one purpose. Do
nothing according to selfish ambition or according to empty conceit,
but in humility considering one another better than yourselves, each of you not looking out for your own interests, but also each of you for the interests of others." Philippians 2