Thanksgiving for Each Other

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, Philemon 1:4, ESV

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, Philippians 1:3-4, ESV

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. Romans 1:8, ESV


I love these passages! Starting off with Philemon, a brother in Christ, Paul tells him that he expresses his thanksgiving every time he remembers him in prayer. On a larger scale, (the church at Philippi) Paul lets all of his brothers and sisters in Christ know that he thanks God in prayer for them. On a larger scale, still, Paul lets his fellow Christians scattered throughout the Roman empire know that he is thankful to God, through Jesus Christ, for their faith.


We should be the same way! During this time of thanksgiving, we should take the time to offer thanks for our brothers and sisters in Christ - the church! We read in Acts 2:42 that they church devoted themselves to each other in fellowship. They were together and they rejoiced in that bond.


I'm afraid that we have lost much of that closeness with our Christian family in modern times. Perhaps it's because we live so much in isolation. We like to relax - nothing wrong with that - but we often do so at the cost of fellowship. There was a time in my life when the gathering of the church meant something. We got together for Sunday school and worship (twice) on Sundays, and then again for mid-week prayer and Bible study. That was not enough for many, for they would have each other in their homes for meals and games and all sorts of fellowship. Now, too many bristle at the idea of even worshipping one time a week with the church. In many ways "church" is something they do, rather than who they are.


How can we get back to enjoying the beautiful fellowship that God designed the church to have? Well, one way is by following the example of Paul. Whether we are talking about one brother or sister or many, we can be thankful for this precious body that Jesus gave His very life for. We can have them on or hearts and in our minds. We can get back to opening up our homes to enjoy one another. We can "put the brakes" on our worldly life for a moment and slow down long enough to take advantage of our sweet relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.


It's a big task, this reshuffling of our patterns of life, but it is worth it. In fact, since we are going to be spending eternity with the body of Christ (you are, aren't you?) why not start that relationship on this side of the Judgment? But how do we go about this seemingly monumental task of getting our life's focus back to the church from the world?


Maybe the best way to start... is a thanksgiving prayer! I am thankful to God for you, my brothers and sisters! I am privileged to have you in my life! I fail all to often to remember the Christ's church in prayer, but I am determined to do better. Won't you join me?