This graphic reminded me of Hebrews 10:24-25, which says: Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (NLT)
Our pastor quoted this bit of Scripture in his sermon yesterday and it stuck with me. (Yes, I actually do pay attention from time to time.) The thing is, we read/hear these words and we get it – sort of – but do we really?
Look at the image again and imagine it is the Church.
Do we understand that when we take one of those gears out, the whole thing falls apart?
That’s you, the green one. Or the blue or the orange or the pink one. The machinery is chugging along just great until you decide that you didn’t like it when the pastor quoted those words from Hebrews. Maybe someone in the church said something that hurt you or offended you. Maybe you’re confused. Maybe you’re just plain rebellious and arrogant. Whatever the “reason”, you decide to leave, taking your cog with you and hardly giving it another thought. Someone else will step in, right?
But no one does, and the machine stops.
You don’t care, because you’re long gone.
The church, meanwhile, struggles to get back up and running. It limps along for a while because it’s missing your gear, which just happened to be a vital piece of the machine, just as they all are. It’s going to be a struggle for a long time until another piece fits in.
And truthfully, you’re struggling too, if you’ve checked out for the wrong reason. You’re carrying your gear around, looking for a place to plug it in, but nothing is quite right.
You need to know that every single one of you is indispensable and the body of Christ cannot function perfectly without you. Nobody else can do what you can do, or be who you are. Your gear may need to be oiled or adjusted here and there, but removing it from the machine is seldom an option.
The point is that we are called to gather together, to motivate each other, to encourage and stir each other up. We are supposed to love and help one another, in good times and in bad. We are a community – a family.
To be blunt, consider someone else instead of yourself for a chance.
Gear up. That someone needs you.