It's the district superintendent.
Jesus, however, never instructed anyone to go it alone. He sent his disciples out two by two. Not long before his crucifixion, according to the Gospel of John, he prayed that the believers might be "one," love one another, and so on.
One another. There it is.
I cannot be "another" -- I can only be "one." There are biblical commands to love one another, honor one another, prefer one another, welcome one another, forgive one another, encourage one another, wash one another's feet, pray for one another, and many more. When I searched for biblical references to "one another" I was both surprisd and encouraged. I haven't counted, but I'm told it is found 60 times in the New Testament.
How am we to be obedient to these instruction? I can't do it by myself! Neither can you. We need a gathering of like-minded believers. I can't "welcome one another" or "spur one another on to love and good works" if I am not somehow joined with others who make up a visible and local part of the great (but invisible to us) Church of Jesus Christ. The "Church" is glorious, and somewhat mystical, but the "church," on the other hand, is made up of very flawed, human, broken people. Like me. Like us. Here are a few glimpses of some of the others at my particular place to call "church."
Here you see us coming to worship together, singing, preaching, loving each other, having fun together, teaching children, studying the Bible, taking a break after a busy morning at an inner-city outreach, getting ready for a parade, dedicating a baby boy to the Lord, showing off trophies, and on it goes. Why all the pictures? Because all these things go better with more than just one. And don't we look like we are enjoying one another?
I hope this Sunday finds you in church. I'd be so happy to see you!