, , , , , ,

My husband and daughters bought me the most thoughtful gift for Christmas.  They went above and beyond what we all agreed to do, chipped in and got me a set of Zumba DVDs because they know I love it so much.  I hadn’t been able to go to class for several months.  I’ve done a few of the workouts and they’re great, the guy who came up with it is one of the teachers and he’s a lot of fun.  I’m really glad to have them because if I can’t go to class, I can still shake the blues and chub away in our own family room.  Thanks to a surprise from a few of my Zumba buddies, I now have some free classes to use up so I went back this week, Tuesday and tonight.  I have to admit that nothing beats dancing off calories with about 125 other women in a big room with really loud music and fun live teachers.  Just being there with all of them energizes me.  No one is a pro.  Everyone is sweaty.  We all want to have fun, get fit and burn fat.  It’s awesome.

It got me thinking – that’s why I love church.  Not for sweat and burning fat, but for the camaraderie, the energy from being with others who are after the same thing, who love the same God, who want to be healthy and whole not only in their bodies, but mind and soul.  I’ve heard people say they don’t need church.  They can be a Christian on their own, watch a preacher on TV, read their Bible alone, etc.  Anyone can do those things, sure, but it’s not the same as gathering together with the other people following Jesus and walking, learning, seeking, singing, serving, and doing life together.

Each time I go to Zumba class I feel encouraged about my fitness, like I can do this.  I look at all the other women who made time for this, too.  I see some who have been at it for a while and have really lost a lot of weight and are feeling stronger and better about themselves.  I see others who are just getting started but want those same things, having gotten caught up in the party atmosphere of it all.  All of us at different stages but with the same goal in mind:  being healthy, strong, and in shape…and have fun.

For the most part, I think the people who come to church have the same goal in mind:  being healthy in their hearts, gaining strength and encouragement, keeping on track in their walk with God.  Being together can energize us.  We give each other encouragement.  We see each other grow and it keeps us going.  We celebrate progress together.  That’s the way it’s meant to be – the people are the church and they are the church together.  You can’t build a building with only one brick standing off by itself.  The Bible says that God’s people make up his temple, the place where he lives (I Peter 2:5).  Like living stones we’re placed together to create a beautiful sanctuary for God.   I’m always glad that I made the effort and took the time to get to Zumba class and I’m always glad when I do the same to be part of the Church.