Every New Year, I encourage you to make every effort to rekindle, or further stoke, your relationship with God, as well as your relationships with others - especially those in the church. The Bible encourages us to do that, and to never forget that all Bible-believing Christians are one in the Spirit. It says in Ephesians chapter 4, verses 3 through 6:
“Make every effort to keep in unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
That portion of scripture focuses on the oneness of our faith; one body, one Spirit, one Lord and one faith. American culture generally fosters individuality; that we can be fulfilled in our self-centeredness. Many of us have fallen into a pattern of going to church where there may be many believers, yet remaining isolated in our own lives, cares and troubles. But it isn't that way in many other cultures around the world. In some cultures, there is a "Global village" mentality, that we are all connected and our lives enrich one another’s with love and relationship as we intertwine them on a daily basis. Ephesians reminds us that we should be a "global village", spiritually speaking. We are one, and as one of us hurts, we should all hurt. And as one of us rejoices, we all as one body should rejoice. It is a difficult paradigm to embrace in America. We, as a culture, typically limit our relational bonding to family and close friends. I encourage you to expand your sphere of influence and include others in your life, remembering that we are all one in Spirit.
Ephesians reminds us that we should maintain unity in the Spirit; that we are one body with one spirit, serving one God. If this is true, we should act and function as though we are one. We should care about one another, pray for one another, get closer to each other, and help each other. In essence, we need to love one another as we love our own families - in as much as that is possible, of course. This may not mean that we open our houses to everyone we meet, but it may mean that we become more sensitive to the Spirit and more open to his direction when it comes to who we should spend time with and who we should show special love to; who we should pray for and who we should reach out to. And maybe, even without knowing it, we will be exercising the principles of this scripture.