Message 6: Relationships and the life
Simone Weil quipped about the church, " I would rather die for it than join it." Like many of us we love the idea of the church, but the practice of it often is messy, ugly, and hurtful. As much as we want to form our spiritual lives in peaceful isolation, it can't be done apart from the contorting pressures of living with others. Missionary statesman Lesslie Newbigin put it this way, " The greatest hermeneutic of the gospel is a community that seeks to live by it." Jesus put it even more simply, " Love one another, by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." After all, the body of Christ is the manifestation of His person on this earth. And spiritually is not primarily philosophical or theoretical, it is local and ordinary. It is about being like Jesus in relation to others. Jesus was man for others, we then are to be people for others. Character is formed in community, it is tested in isolation. The most important question that must be asked and answered for every disciple to those around him is, "Can I trust me with you." You can be second person singular, but it finally must be plural as well. When I humble myself and submit to others who can be trusted, then I have the opportunity to changed from stem to stern. I can actually begin to think like Jesus thought, feel what Jesus felt, and to see the world the way He saw it. I can actually become the kind of person who naturally does what Jesus did.
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