I’ve been on a weekend conference. Now that sounds posh doesn’t it? What other phrases can I chuck in there? We did lunch and cracked the deal that should see millions flooding in. Not true, but it sounds right in the context of a weekend conference.
In any case, you may remember the talk I’ve been making about confessional community and I had a glimpse of what that looked like this weekend with a group of people I don’t know. They were more than happy to share aspects of their lives that were hard to share. Really confessing some deep stuff that they have struggled and overcome and in some cases yet to overcome all in an atmosphere that celebrated the freedom that we have to share these things and more importantly, that which brings it above self-help, our complete dependence on Jesus to help us in these things. Funnily enough that was not the sole point of the weekend, indeed it was looking at some interesting aspects of the time to come.
So I enjoyed the weekend. I enjoyed it a great deal and one of the highlights of it was the opportunity to share in communion. Now that’s a whole topic in itself in terms of my position on that in comparison to some other approaches. I won’t go into it now. What I will go into is the run-up to it. There was talk about the importance of love as the motive for all we do. A love that forgives our enemy. A love that endures all things and believes all things. A love so rooted and grounded in being loved first that we no longer love for what we want from others or a self-indulgent desire to be loved, but knowing we are already loved we give.
Nothing typifies this greater than the three crucial images of a follower of Christ – the cross, the empty tomb and the right hand of God. The journey all disciples take in their realisation of the greatest love there has ever been. This love is only possible because of what Jesus has done for us to be reconciled to the greatest lover in the universe. On realising this again and remembering this I recall the most moving expression my dad ever had about love through tears and thanksgiving and likewise I burst out in tears of thanksgiving.
So I see how love makes me appreciate my family and other loved ones. I see how love set me free to be one who loves. That is my heart’s desire and privilege one day, one conversation, one relationship at a time.
For His Name's Sake