I’ve been focusing on the This Is Us TV series featuring Jack, Rebecca, Kate, Kevin, and Randall – and the drama of their extended family across multiple generations. I have likened the fictional scenario to “us” as a church family: highly fallible, yet committed to each other – through the years – no matter what.
In my last blog posting, I unpacked the responsibilities which are ours when we have to confront another member of the family. That’s real life. Grace and truth are required of us (Ephesians 4:15) – and that’s not always such an easy task. But we’re learning to do it right because we’re learning to love.
All of this assumes that we’re pursuing healthy relationships with each other. Are we? The Millennials among us speak of wanting to “do life together.” That is in fact a very Biblical way to view the body of Christ (First Corinthians 12:26). We’re in it together! But we will never be able to “do life together” unless God enables us to create the space where trust can be developed. Real trust. We have to be around each other long enough to know each other. Once we know each other, we can really invest in each other. At the very least, we will have to sacrifice some of our time (and who has much of that to spare?) in order to make it happen.
Are you willing to give some of your time to this body? Are you willing to pour yourself out in meaningful investment of you in relationships which will last for eternity? Are you willing to devote precious time to really know – and to be known by – your brothers and sisters in this place? If you’re struggling with answering any of those questions in the affirmative, I’ll remind you of something penned by Oswald Chambers: “There is no such thing as a private life, or a place to hide in this world, for a man or woman who is intimately aware of and shares in the sufferings of Jesus Christ. God divides the private life of His saints and makes it a highway for the world on one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are not sanctified for ourselves.”
The gospel message is never about what I want or what I can accomplish on my own. Foolishness! The good news of Jesus is all about what He has done for me. Accomplished. Finished. Done. I now owe Christ my all. If He calls me to invest in others, and He does, then I must choose to be identified with Christ in this way. Will it cost me some time? Absolutely.
Could it be that James Taylor is an accomplished theologian? Perhaps the old guy’s onto something …
You can play the game and you can act out the part
Though you know it wasn’t written for you
But tell me, how can you stand there with your broken heart
Ashamed of playing the fool …
Oh, father and mother, sister and brother
If it feels nice, don’t think twice
Just shower the people you love with love
Show them the way that you feel
Things are gonna work out fine if you only will …
You can run but you cannot hide
This is widely known
And what you plan to do with your foolish pride
When you’re all by yourself alone?
For some reason I feel like goin’ to Carolina in my mind. But I digress.
Private life, overrated. Family life, priceless. Greater love has no one than this (John 15:13) …
We need you. The you God made and gave to us. I’ll share more thoughts on this subject in my next blog posting. Please stay tuned.
This is us.