“One of the deepest longings of the soul is to belong – to be a part of something outside of ourselves, to be included, loved, appreciated, to know we contribute, take part in, fulfill a role, have a place. That’s why family and church are so fundamental to who we are and how God has created us. God established the family and the church as tangible, relational, loving, supportive structures to which we belong.
This desire to belong is so strong that if we don’t find belonging in God-given means, we will reach out to find belonging in other communities. That’s why gangs thrive; they thrive in environments where the family is broken or the church is inactive. Sometimes we do have access to God-given means of community, but we blindly substitute them or even unintentionally seek to replace them. So we find community at work, in sports, in social groups and clubs. There’s nothing inherently wrong with belonging to other groups unless they become our fundamental means of identity and result in the neglecting of the communities God intends to be our core – the family and the church. Those are the two God-ordained communities.
But ultimately, our greatest desire to belong goes much deeper than any of these communities. The ultimate desire of our souls for belonging is the basic desire to belong to God. Knowing that we have been reconciled to God, knowing that we belong to Christ, the Good Shepherd, grounds the soul in satisfaction and gives meaning, direction and purpose for every other community to which we belong.” Wil Owens, Teaching Pastor
Do you long to belong to Christ? What are the blessings of belonging to Him? Click on the link below to hear Pastor Wil Owens as he talks about what it looks like to belong to the Good Shepherd.