'Discipleship' series : Called to God's Family
The 21st century is an age of personal significance and, ironically enough, loneliness. We may feel it a little less living in Malta where you bump into someone you know once every 20 meters, but, that general air of loneliness is still present.
The very fact that we as humans feel so lonely so often is actually quite sad. Loneliness itself is sad, but feeling lonely despite the great importance God gives us is even sadder.
In His eyes we are precious beyond belief not only as individuals but also as one precious family.
This idea of family and community always mattered. Jesus taught his disciples to rely on one another. Their relationships were built on interdependence; and God wants us to do the same thing. He wants us to be sisters and brother in Him.
Somewhere along the way the Church seems to have lost this reliance on community and it’s time we recaptured it. As followers of Jesus we are called to care for each other as Jesus cared for his own disciples. Everyone should be caring for everyone.
The thing is, that’s not really what happens.
Do we love everyone we know? Is our first reaction to people one of love? It should be because we are called to love. As Christians we have an extremely important role – we are God’s agents in this world and if we don’t even show love to everyone around us than who will? In the church itself this can be a great struggle simply because of the divisions present within it. In 2012 there were fourty thousand denominations in the Christian Church. Fourty thousand. That is way too many divisions for a people that are supposed to be one. The Body of Christ should not be torn into fourty thousand pieces, it should be one body in spite of our differences, our past, our plans etc.
Before continuing I suggest you read John 17 - once you're done carry on reading!
Let’s zoom in a little closer. Away from the Church as a whole and towards a community level. If we’re called to love everyone than our communities should definitely be built on love. The disciples were persistent in their reconciliation with each other. A community that hides frustrations, jealousy, comparisons in it’s seems is not a community at all. When people look at our community they should see true love and think – that is God. It might be the only time they come in contact with God and His people and it’s our responsible to make a good, loving first impression.
I guess sometimes our communcal experience of the gospel can tend to defeat us – it becomes tasteless. We want people to come alive when they look at us not find reasons to judge us and pick us apart. We want them to see that there’s something different. So take a second and analyse your relationship with the people in your community – is their space for improvement? Are you challenging what society presents as the norm?
The bottom line is that loving is not an easy feat. The good news however, is we’re in it together. The journey of discipleship was never intended to be a solo journey. We can fulfil our true calling to love and evangelise together with the Holy Spirit.
All this summarized into one sentence can be this:
The reality of loving one another is simply an expression of our inward conversion.
Let’s drop our differences. Let’s forgive. Let’s be renewed out of our commitment to love Christ.