Perspectives | The Importance of Relationships
Our relationship with God is not restricted in any ways and it has, at best, pushed us to seek to know and rely on Him more. However we are made for living in community, in fellowship, and wonderful though online Services and meetings are, it is not quite the same. We fail to develop emotionally and spiritually on our own.
Our Western World culture focuses on the ‘individual’ in an unhealthy way. As a result we often read the New Testament from an individual perspective, missing out on the fact that it was written to people living in fellowship together. Where we come across the word ‘you’ in the New Testament we often take it as singular, whereas the ‘you’ is usually plural. Because we use the same word for more than one person and don’t say ‘yous’ we can miss this. Just as the Old Testament is written to a group of people who in time become a Nation, so the New Testament is written to us as His children to help us live together in fellowship with him. Both Old and New teach us about Who God is, how to live together as ‘family’ and how to be ‘a light to the Nations’ Though obviously the New Testament is a fuller revelation.
Jesus came as ‘the exact representation of his (God’s) being’ (Hebrews 1:3) showing us the full revelation of God the Father in every aspect. It is thus interesting to note that He spent His whole life in relationship. First of all within His family and community and secondly, as He started His ministry at the age of 30, He called 12 disciples to live and journey with Him. Added to which in Luke 8: 2,3) we learn that a group of women traveled with Jesus and His disciples too. Yes He was instructing them about the nature of the Kingdom of God and many other things but Jesus was also teaching them how to live together and love one another in spite of their differences. In other words, ‘To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind......and your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22 :37-39)
It is interesting that during the last year a very simple book called , “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by a Christian called Charlie Mackesy has gone viral. By illustrations and chats between the friends, he shows the value of facing life ‘together’ and how important that it is to be kind to one another and indeed to ourselves
‘Everyone is a bit scared,’ said the horse. ‘But we are less scared together’ and
‘Nothing beats kindness,’ said the horse. ‘ It sits quietly beyond all things’.
As you will gather the horse is the wise one!! This book is being shared in schools and excerpts are being pinned around the walls in offices! These simple words are being used to encourage people in a difficult time.
So how do we help and encourage each other during these times of restrictions? I think that we need to be creative in the way that we show love and care. Our God, Who is both loving and creative, will show us how as we ask Him.
Personally, I am so grateful for all the ways that people have reached out to me in kindness over the last year. For phone calls, emails, texts, cards and even little presents left at the gate or the door during times of strict lockdown. Not to mention the faithful prayers of others. As we care for people in this way and in other ways as the Holy Spirit prompts us we will get through this time with, of course, God’s help. In fact I believe that we can even grow as Christians and as people. We can also show people who don’t yet know God that He loves them too. If this is a scary and lonely time for Christians, how much more for non-Christians!
To quote again from The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse:-
‘What do we do when our hearts hurt?’ asked the boy.
‘We wrap them with friendship,shared tears and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again.’
Let us persevere then together, remembering Jesus words in John’s gospel, ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have over come the world’
This is my offering for Wednesday. Funnily enough I have known for more than a week what the theme was to be but it has taken longer than usual to come together. Funnily enough I think that Derek may have overlapping themes tomorrow but we both prepared separately without conferring!! Honest!!
Love to you both,
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