So often in life we are tempted to go it alone. It seems it is easy to focus on me, myself, and I. When challenged, a voice within us says pull yourself up. When in the midst of darkness, our voice says try harder. When burdened with the weight of the world, and sinking in doubt, self-help thoughts flood our brains. And in the midst of it all, the lonelier and lonelier we get. God reminds us all along the way that we are not made to do life alone.
Whose voice will we listen to? Our own? The self-help section of Barnes and Nobles or Amazon.com? The individualized drive-thru lane of another fast food restaurant? Or the God of all life?
Did Jesus do life alone? No. Jesus worked hard in developing a community of people that would lead transformed lives. They gathered as often as possible to deeply invest in one another. Those first disciples needed constant reminding of who and whose they were. It was in community that they thrived!
I am not sure who stated it, but it goes something like this, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
I experienced that life in the body of Our Savior’s last weekend through our Family Camp. A multi-generational and multi-ethnic grouping of people coming together – going away – to intentionally spend time with one another. It was time well spent in going deep on our discipleship journey – not alone – but together. We ate together – played together – opened the Scriptures together – talked about and with Jesus together – sang together – wrestled through tough questions together – and came home more alive because of it. We indeed are better together. More alive! More whole and well! Ever ready to take on the challenges that the world throws our way.
Everything that we do as the church is to equip us for life and service in God’s world. But it all starts in a community that is centered in Jesus. It’s why we come together to eat together! At table we experience the real life and love of fellowship in Jesus. All tables at Our Savior’s are tables of life and love. It’s why we do faith formation. Intentional times of being in community to grow and learn together. We don’t just throw Bibles out there and say enjoy reading it on your own. Why? Because Jesus is most experienced in and through the gathered Jesus community!
The temptation…isolate…try harder…wrestle in loneliness…fumble in darkness…do life alone. It does not work.
To seize on the life that really is life…engage…work together…share our stories…be a vitalized part of the body…live in the light…do life together. This is what Jesus had in mind for us.
Families that eat together, play together, work together, serve together, worship together…are strengthened families. The same is true for the church and community.
Come out…draw one another together as the church…be made strong again…and live…really live!