As a child, I had many occasions to fall. On the carpet. On the grass. On the dirt or in the mud. Into water. On concrete. Even on gravel. Each had its degrees of related suffering. Each was absent the one thing that could have softened the blow: someone to catch me.
The local church is intended to extend its hands outward to benefit those who are not its members through service and proclamation of the gospel. It also provides support for those who worship regularly. When we avail ourselves of each other, we become simultaneously vulnerable, accountable, and nurturing. We catch each other when we fall, softening the blow, easing the landing.
The fall may be financial, as some reading this might readily agree. It could be emotional, rising out of the variety of complex reasons which characterize every person. It may be something limited, or something quite expansive, affecting the whole of your life. God gave us each other in order that we might pray for each other, love each other, comfort each other, challenge each other, and work together to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church ought to be a place where we can fall safely, and then receive support to rise up anew in Christ.
Do you have a place to fall?