I think that most of us are aware of the old TV figure called, ‘The Lone Ranger.’ Every story line of the series is basically the same! There is a problem somewhere out in the Wild West of America; the problem comes to the notice of the Lone Ranger and he rides into town to shoot up the bad guys and protect the innocent. As his name suggests he basically works on his own and relies upon his own abilities to get the job done. He does have an off-sider, Tonto, but his main job seems to be as a punching bag for the bad guys!
The style of the Lone Ranger will not work for the Christian. It is impossible for any of us on our own to maintain a Christian lifestyle. Each of us needs not only the Holy Spirit but the support of fellow Christians as well. This is the nature of the Christian life. We are not designed to be Lone Ranger types riding into the spiritual battle on our own and coming out the victor all the time. We need to work as a team, better still, as a community of men and women committed to the goal of proclaiming the Kingdom of God wherever and whenever the Lord asks us to do it.
It is much easier to endure in a difficult task if we have people along side us to support us in our struggles. If someone is on his or her own, then everything has to be done by the one person. Thus it is much easier for a single person to tire and then fall away from the task at hand. If we are together in a community to support one another, then we can both encourage and aid a person when they are struggling and in danger of falling away from the faith.
Jesus drew 12 men into a close group around himself to form them in the ways of the Gospel in order that they would be able to carry on the ministry of proclaiming the Good News when He ascended to the Father. Even so we all know that Judas fell away under temptation and abandoned his faith. Perhaps he first distanced himself from the support of his fellow apostles and thus became an easy prey for the enemy. What we do know, however, is that if we support one another, then we will be much less likely to fall away from our faith.
Do I belong to a Christian community from where I find it easy to draw support in my faith walk? If not, where can I find such a community to support me?
Lord Jesus, help me to become a committed member of your community of faith. Help me to give my life to the service of the Gospel along with other brothers and sisters to support me in this way of life.