[Nederlandse versie]

Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 6, verses 6-10

6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Today Christians are amongst one another in church. Amongst, as in: surrounded by, mingled in with. To appear for God in one another’s company. No outsiders, they are meeting one another as spiritual family members. But… should they not give more attention to the non-believers, who are more in need?

The spiritual and material care within a church does not need to be perfect in order for Christians to reach out with the gospel. Such activities are actually good for the internal life of the community, too. But when you want to invite others over at home, it needs to be a place where one can enjoy hanging out. If members of a church “bite and devour” one another (Gal. 5:15), guests will soon fly. Judaic and pagan Christians had to learn to accept one another. The harvest of discord is an unattractive congregation.

Mutual phenomena of rejection will push off others as well. Especially former Muslims are craving a warm and safe haven. Often on a Sunday, collections are held for church and pastoral care. It is fully biblical to utter gratefulness by the service of “spiritual sacraments”, by taking care of the livelihood of servants of the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 5:17-18). Also by the ability to sacrifice, to avoid that members of Christ’s community suffer from poverty. It will make others glad to see that people are good to one another.

‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:24-25)
To sing: Come Down, O Love Divine, verse 2, 4

O let it freely burn, til earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.