Meditation for Preparation: May 13

Posted on May 10, 2018.

1 Samuel 13:1-22 -- "A Case Study in the Fear of Man"

 

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Here is an (unrelated to the text for this week) excerpt from Charles Moore's essay in Called To Community, called "It Takes Work:"

 

     To come across a dismembered human body part, like a finger or a toe, would shock and repulse us. If we would only step back and see how fractured and dismembered our lives are, we might see why restoring our lives to wholeness, as difficult as this might be, is so desperately needed. After all, this is what Christ prayed for, and it is what our world needs. Jesus prayed that we might be a community, that his followers would possess the togetherness of love and unity that he and the Father had for each other (John 17:20-26).

 

     No wonder the reciprocal pronoun "one another" (allelon) stands out in the New Testament. This one word highlights the importance of belonging to a group that shares life:

 

  • Outdo one another in showing honor (Rom. 12:10)
  • Live in harmony with one another (Rom. 12:16)
  • Admonish one another (Rom. 15:14)
  • Greet one another with a holy kiss (Rom. 16:16)
  • Wait for one another (1 Cor. 11:33)
  • Have the same care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25)
  • Be servants of one another (Gal. 5:13)
  • Bear one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2)
  • Comfort one another (1 Thess. 5:11)
  • Build one another up (1 Thess. 5:11)
  • Be at peace with one another (1 Thess. 5:13)
  • Do good to one another (1 Thess. 5:15)
  • Put up with one another in love (Eph. 4:2)
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another (Eph. 4:32)
  • Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21)
  • Forgive one another (Col. 3:13)
  • Confess your sins to one another (Jas. 5:16)
  • Pray for one another (Jas. 5:16)
  • Love one another form the heart (1 Pet. 1:22)
  • Be hospitable to one another (1 Pet. 4:9)
  • Meet one another with humility (1 Pet. 5:5)

    

     Virtually none of the above exhortations make sense unless we share life together and are committed to one another. How are we to bear another person's burden unless the burden is known and unless we are actually willing to carry it? How are we to "put up with each other" unless we relate closely enough to get on each other's nerves? How are we to forgive one another unless we are in each other's lives to hurt and let one another down? How can we learn to submit to one another unless we struggle with differences? In other words, if we are to connect (or reconnect) our lives with one another, it will demand much more of us than we normally give. It demands that we become a church community, not just occasionally go to church or have community with others.

 

     Community is a nice ideal, but are we ready to do the work it takes to forge a common, committed life with others on a daily basis, especially if it costs us? If we are honest, we'll recognize that we have been groomed to believe that our lives are ours to do with as we please and that our independence is more important than our involvemenet in whatever groups we happen to participate in, including the church. But forming community will never happen if we keep hanging on to our independence. Neither will it happen if our schedules only allow us to meet together a couple of hours a week. We will have to form new lifestyle habits and dispense with old patterns of living and thinking. We will have to sacrifice convenience and give up private spaces and personal preferences. We will have to make concerted choices to forgo some of our personal freedom so that others can more naturally be in, and not just around, our lives. It will take work.

 

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Here is a Spotify playlist for our worship music this week: 

 

 

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We will also be rehearsing Question 44 of the New City Catechism.
 
 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
 
  • Ongoing-- Adult Bible Study @ 9:38 a.m. on Sundays in Fellowship Hall
  • Ongoing-- College Bible Study @ 9:30 a.m. on Sundays in Cry Room
  • June 3-6 -- VBS
  • June 17 -- Father's Day & Baby Dedication
  • June 24 -- 2nd Quarter Meeting/Potluck/Special Communion (Sign Up Page)