There are many things in life that I simply do not want to do. Things like getting up at 6am in the dark to go to work, cleaning and hoovering the house, getting cold…. Over the summer I flyered all the houses in my local area in the rain for a community church event, folded a huge stack of term cards and prayer diaries and attempted to keep five toddlers in one play room for two hours ( so the mums can have a bible study together). Things reach a new high this weekend. Camping with youth group. Yes it is October and it was 8 degrees. Reasons to dislike this; one I have had a petty cold recently and had unrested sleep, two what do we do with 15 kids if it rains out in the countryside (??) three, you didn’t tell me that a ‘night hike’ would be involved ( health and safety nightmare) four; there are a zillion safeguarding issues involved here… five; who thought this was a ‘good’ idea again?
Yes it would be easy to have a good old rant about being wet and cold and up all night. However, what I am learning at the moment, in very practical ways is two things.
One, You cannot live life alone. Both in provisions and in relationships, we need each other. Food for example, you have to shop, you have to cook. You however didn’t make all the things in the shop, someone else has. Yet you need the food to survive. In relationships we have family and friends to support us in life and to help and guide us in our decisions. Plus, in Christain thinking we have Father, Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit who are united in a loving relationship with each other. So if the God the worship is in a relational that means I am called to be a relational person too.
Two, Living together in community means doing this messy stuff, stuff that I don’t want to do because it is not all about me and being selfish. It is about seeing the practical time that I have each day to give to others and giving it willing. Life is chasos, really messy, but Jesus did not sit up there on his high throne and do nothing about it. No He stepped down and served others. The women, the weak and the wanderer. I am not that good at loving people, hopefully i would have made that clear by now. However Jesus does and I am challenged by this quote;
‘ Jesus is everything that I am not. He alone has ‘love divine, all loves excelling”. This realisation does not crush me, it liberates me, because the love of Jesus is so big that he loves even me. And because he loves me, he has promised to save me, to forgive me and change me. We are nothing without love. But when we know Jesus, who does nothing without love, he will help us love the way that he loves. ”
– Phil Ryken, Loving the Way Jesus Loves