Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Community and the will of God.

We shouldn't seek the ideal community. It is a question of loving those whom God has set beside us today. They are signs of God. We might have chosen different people, perhaps people who were more caring , cheerful, intelligent and like-minded. But these are the ones God has given us, the ones he has chosen for us. It is with them that we are called to create unity and live in covenant. Jean Vanier

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” A Doctor called Luke - the Bible.

The above quote by Jean Varnier may be familiar to some of you who are on the same board as I am for this I make no apology as it triggered some of the following thoughts.

At our church this week we are holding our annual Holiday Club. Every year for the past 30 plus years this event has taken place. We have an assortment of different children from different backgrounds; some delightful, polite, well spoken and some more rough around the edges. I have been so challenged about how I deal with the latter group of children. Didn't Jesus come to save them as well? I need to draw alongside them; they need to know that the business of being a Christian isn't about being aloof and prickly but about being a friend. I believe with all my heart in the verbal proclamation of the gospel but that must go hand-in-hand with a life lived out as a light for Jesus. That is the will of God for me and the rest of us who love Him; in fact, it is a command.

May God give me the strength to serve Him in the community I live in, work in and worship in and not wait until the clientèle meet my requirements better. Let's face it we live in a fallen world and that is never going to happen and even if it does something will happen to mess it up (and more often than not it will have something to do with me!). I have to get used to where I am because some of these people will be in Heaven with me and I will be praising the Lord for eternity with them!

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