For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 19: Celebration at Fat Matt’s: Becoming Lost in Union
– Becoming lost in unity with others and with something bigger than ourselves can produce a joyous celebration
Some people view union with God as something unattainable but I have always struggled more with unity within community. Some of my most cherished times have been connecting with others in the presence of God, but normally this connection seems always out of reach. I take just about everything I do seriously, especially when it comes to spiritual matters, and I am put off when others are not as serious as me in these matters. I know that this is childish but it often keeps me from relating to others because I get a sense that they are not on the same page as me. So, I get easily frustrated and often refuse to make the effort to bond with other believers.
Apprentice Activity: Playing In Unity and Celebration
– Think of something that you would like to take the lead doing but have put it off because of fear
– Let it be something that would involve a movement toward unity
– Ponder verse 5 of Colossians 3:1-17 – 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
As the summer approaches, our two older girls are starting to ask what our plans are for their time off from school. I dread the constant “Can we do this…, can we do that..” questions and the pressure they put on me to come up with something great that they all will enjoy. I also dread whether I am going to have the energy and the emotional investment to make their activities as fulfilling as possible. But this activity is challenging me to take the lead on planning their activities in order to bring unity and connection within our family.
What is Jesus teaching me? As much as I enjoy being a lone ranger Christian and doing all of these spiritual activities on my own, I know that I am missing an element of my spiritual growth by avoiding the community aspect of my faith. Thankfully, God has placed some groups in my life that have been meaningful and helpful for my spiritual growth. One in particular, a men’s small group at work, has been essential in teaching me that guys can talk about spiritual issues and support and encourage one another in meaningful and authentic ways.
Are you missing the community element to your faith? Do you need to step out and join a group to help grow your faith? Do you need to start a group?