“Member?” the cashier at the NTUC check-out routinely asks.
The question is meant to elicit a twinge of regret at the loss one will suffer for not being a member – no discounts, rebates or freebies.
This is our understanding of membership today. Membership = privileges. The chief end of all membership today is ‘what’s in it for me?’.
I wonder how much of this expectation has crept into our other uses of ‘member’ – of family, profession, church. What does it mean to be a member of a family? what does it mean to be a fellow-doctor or teacher? What does it mean to be a church member
The current climate not just of ‘me’ but ‘me first’, makes this worse. We easily start with what we deserve, need, want…and find a way to explain things to ourselves. We can even make it sound noble and giving!
But we cannot fool God.
In his wisdom, one of the correctives for this is his call to us to be part of the church. To God, church means a supernatural gathering of His people who witness and confront the world. To God, church means a divinely bonded people who will care and sacrifice. To God, church means a glimpse of heaven, of the way things are meant to be.