Last year I wrote a post about the herring run and the way it illustrates how we, as Christians, are to go against the flow of culture. It is hard work, but it is necessary.
I was there again this past week and noticed another part that was a powerful metaphor for our connection with each other in the church. It seems like there has been a more consistent push for people to avoid coming to church these days. Many will say that they don’t need it because they can follow God on their own. Other people look at Sundays as their day and add God into it when it works. Whatever the reason, being with others in a local church has become less of a perceived need.
Yet, as I watched the fish jump upstream together I realized that there is something very profound taking place. They are staying together. There is one point where they could go right or left. A right turn takes them to their desired destination and a left turn takes them to a calm little spot where the birds could easily pick them off. It is easy, but it is dangerous. They need to follow each other and stick together. If someone wanders off, they are in big trouble.
I think this is what happens when people disconnect from the local church. Sure they might say that they are fine and are following God, but how long does it last? When does the flow of the culture become so strong that it wears them down? Who is there to help you when you get off course in order that you don’t get devoured by the enemy?
We need each other to stay on course. It is how God designed it and how we ought to live. Church is not an activity to fill some time. It is a point of contact between God and others. It is a help for us to stay on track. It is a blessing to us, each other and to the very heart of God.