Yesterday I talked about the corporate disciplines: those soul-training exercises that are done not by individuals Christians alone but by Christians in community with other Christians. I can hardly stress enough how much fellowship with believers is necessary for spiritual formation.
Today I want to remind you of one of the reasons fellowship with others is so important. This is really quite elementary, but it's easy for us to forget, I think. Here it is:
Not one of us knows everything.
Not one single person is perfect. No one knows it all. We all need each other. Those of us who love God, who listen to God, who spend time learning about God and talking to God--all of us need each other.
My friends from evangelical churches revere the Bible and know it well; I have a lot to learn from them. My friends from liturgical churches have a deep reverence for God and are gifted at deep, contemplative prayer; I have a lot to learn from them. My friends from charismatic churches are great at worshipping God in spirit and in truth; I have a lot to learn from them.
Different Christian traditions all have different strengths, and we can be grateful for all of them. Although each of us must choose one church to be our "home base," isn't it wonderful that we can have fellowship across all denominational lines? This is a foretaste of heaven, I think.
More than that, though, we can learn from one another. We honor God and our souls benefit when we pay attention to one another and share our strengths with one another.
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
**What kind of church background are you from? How have you learned from Christians of other traditions?**