As a Group

I love collective nouns for animals because they capture the essence of the animals behaviour:  a ‘school’ of fish; a ‘murder’ of crows; a ‘crash’ of rhinoceros; a ‘flock’ of sheep.  In the 1990s Bronwyn and I walked through a ‘gang’ of standing water buffalo.  There were about 60 in the herd and it was very intimidating.  In 2013 I swam amidst a ‘shiver’ of 10 Grey Nurse sharks; while I know they are safe I was nervous.  When animals operate as a group their majesty increases as does their safety.

What is a group of Christians called?  Peter refers to his group of Christians as refugees (1:1; 2:11); a family (5:9); a building (2:4); a priesthood (2:9); and a flock (5:2).  As it is with animals,when we operate as a group we are most majestic and safe.  Satan knows this and works at picking people from the flock like a lion

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

The key way Satan operates is by separating the individual from the group faith.  Satan likes creating distance between Christians and their peers.  He creates time distance with busyness; he creates social distance with shame; he creates purpose distance with self-centredness – be alert to his schemes.  Please be a regular active member of our church to show the majesty of God to the people around us.

Denis Oliver