The branches coming off the trunk are the different individual churches that reach out into the world and while there are many of us we are united in our faith in Christ. Coming off of the individual branches were the numerous small branches from which the buds were coming out. Those buds, which would become leaves and pecans, needed connection with the tree for their nourishment, their life. They couldn’t make it on their own. As Christians we draw from the church our strength and nourishment to live the life of Christ. So the church is here to empower us and give us life through Jesus.
But then I realized that just as the leaf relied on the branch for life, the branch needed the leaf just as much. A tree without leaves would wither and die just as much as a leaf without a tree. A church without folks is a pretty lonely place. Just as the church gives life to the individuals there, the people of the church give life back to the church. As a church we have a responsibility to feed and nurture the Christian, but each Christian has a responsibility to give back to the life of the church. It won’t work any other way. Without this mutual relationship we both die for the truth is the church is its people.
So if you wonder what your purpose is it is to be the church, to be Christ, for as much as you need the church, the church also needs you.