At the end of a long, good conversation this morning, I stumbled into a thought I want to share with you. We were talking about the irony that those of us who desire more of church/Christian community are often the ones who find the least of it in our lives. Yes, we look at other forms of church and know they fall short of the ways Jesus describes walking out our faith together. And yet, we are no better off.
We desire relationships with vulnerability. We need people to walk the ongoing walk with us – sharing in moments of high and low, and all the mundane working it out in between. We want people to laugh with us, to cry with us. Other people to care about and help with our kids. Friends to pray with and that we can call when our car batter dies and we need help. We want Jesus-filled community.
I would suggest that this doesn’t come without commitment. Not commitment to a set of beliefs or a particular way. Rather, its commitment to one another in Christ – a deep, unique type of relationship that doesn’t require we are all the same. Its saying our expectations of one another and being ok when they differ, not making you be what I want you to be. Because the point is each of us being who God wants us to be. And we can be that best together!
What gets in the way?
1. We do. we don’t make the time, we don’t take the time, we have unrealistic expectations of one another, and we’ve all been disappointed so many times that we wonder if we should even try
2. The world does – our world defines community and friendship differently than we do. First, its superficial and we settle for less than we know we want and need. Second, its transactional – we should “do relationships” in order to GET something rather than to give – or better yet – to just be in it together
3. The enemy is actively working against this – because isolated Christians, isolated people, are forced to give up on what is right, or try to do it on their own. It’s been a strategy from the very beginning – keep them apart and they aren’t powerful.
There is a choice…
to be vulnerable
to risk failure
to give
to pray
to love
I want to choose these.
We don’t do these to be church. But in living this way, we are church. Love God, love others, love one another. Help others do the same. Seek God’s Kingdom. Journey together, mission together, be who you are meant to be together.
Its not meant to be fancy. It is meant to be freeing for everyone.
I want that. I need that. I’d like your help to live that.