“Do you want to be healed?”
“He that . . . wants relief must come to Christ himself. He must not be content with coming to His Church and His ordinances or to the assemblies of His people for prayer and praise. He must not stop short even at His holy table or rest satisfied with privately opening his heart to His ordained ministers. Oh no! . . . He must go higher, further, much further than this. He must have personal dealings with Christ Himself. All else in religion is worthless without Him. The King’s palace, the attendant servants, the richly furnished banqueting house, the very banquet itself — all are nothing, unless we speak with the King. His hand alone can take the burden off our backs and make us feel free. . . . We must deal directly with Christ.”
J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Old Tappan, n.d.), pages 266-267.
If we go to church just to be with one another, one another is all we will get. And it isn’t enough. Eventually, our deepest unmet needs will explode in anger at one another. Putting community first destroys community. We must put Christ himself first and keep him first and treat him as first and come to him first and again and again. He can heal as no other can. Can, and will. If we come to him.