Recently I was going on about how important it is to seek God together. This links in well with another topic I mentioned last month on creating confessional community. If we are going to see God there has to be a love among us that goes beyond superficial greetings and barbecues and gets to the heart of who we are together. (Nothing against barbecues, by the way, I defend the right of Christians to continue pointless barbecues.)
I think sometimes it is only too easy to hide behind social events and occasions to allow that be our card that says we’ve done fellowship, we’ve done community, when in actuality there’s nothing about the nature of the called-out ones that would withstand a storm of personal indiscretions. How is that proven, well just slip an indiscretion and see the power of gossip and judgemental attitude that closes ranks against the sinner and offers no room for vulnerability, transparency and genuine repentance.
Seeking God together is surely about taking the time to build those relationships with fellow-travellers filled with the grace to accept that we’re not in this community of grace on merit. As we practice that ability not just to bear with the burdens of others, but allow our burdens likewise to be carried by others there is no room for judgement. There’s every room for cries of mercy and pleas for God to shower His compassion on us all for the ways in which we fail Him.
The difference between me before I met Jesus and now I’m getting to know Him is that the excuse ‘we’re only human’ was a get out clause previously, but now it is the base on which to fall on the mercies of God and the encouragement of brothers and sisters in Christ to let the Holy Spirit empower me to live right and whether instantaneously or over time overcome that area of failing. Even like some if we’re never able to overcome that thorn in the flesh we can still rejoice in the strength of Christ being made perfect in our weakness and so learn to live through our vulnerabilities as a lifelong reminder of our complete dependence on Jesus.
This is not just rhetoric from me. In parts of 2008 my life was wracked with problem after problem and there were areas of the church that just were not equipped to support me through the process. God always finds people to come alongside though and it was the case that there were brothers who were tremendous aids to me just in their availability, transparency and vulnerability. Together we’d have those brief glimpses of what true confessional community would look like where we were only too aware of weaknesses but grateful to God for His grace and goodness in wiping them away once they were exposed to the light of His love. The battles are not over, but such experiences prove again to me that this love that sent Jesus to the cross is able to work through us as we seek God together and let us reflect that same love to each other, no matter what the issue.
The journey continues both for seeking God and seeing what it is to create that confessional community that acknowledges Jesus as Lord and our sins are ever in need to be washed by Him. The hope I have in knowing that this which He asks for is possible and a glimpse into what that heavenly kingdom is all about.
For His Name's Sake