(gather)-ings

gatherings blog post

Community, a lifestyle of relying on one another and doing life together. Martus and I started desiring this lifestyle long before we even got married. After going from one church to another in search of this we came across a church that shared our heart. We joined the church and started attending a small group. I think in the back of our minds decided not to talk about community and how we yearn for it, but then this week in our small group the topic arose and ofcourse our hearts started pouring out.

We talked and talked and talked about it. It was the first time I was in conversation with people that don’t just talk this language but burn to make a difference and do something about it. I loved the conversations and thoughts that were shared. Then as we started praying for community to become active in our lives, small group and the church God revealed something very sad to me.

We all know the first and most important commandment to love the Lord with our whole heart, soul and mind and then He said the second most important is to love our neighbor. We all know this verse, but we don’t realize that we surely don’t live by this commandment. The question I have been carrying with me for quite some time was why is being interactive, friendly and aware of people around you so difficult at times and why is it not a natural thing that we grow up with or is known to us as a child? Why is loving our neighbours not a natural thing we do?

God came to answer me with a radical answer. As the church we should strive towards the heart of God, which is to love the Lord with our whole heart, soul and mind. The majority of the church has come so far by following that commandment, but for some reason we have jumped past the second part and tried some of the other things that looked more satisfying to us. To love our neighbours starts with loving the people in the church, your family. To love your neighbour means to be selfless and give them your time and energy when you are tired. To know that there is people in the church with loads of issues and you want to help them get through them. To spend time together, to be a friend and to support. So basically what I am trying to say is that the church should have a lifestyle of community. And that takes me back to the question I have been struggling with, why is loving your neighbor such a difficult thing to do? And the painful thing to hear is that the church is not promoting this lifestyle and we are not even sure what that looks like inside of the church, but they are quick to ask us to do it outside of the church. The reality is that the church is where we should be learning how to go into the world and make a difference, our way of living should reflect that and then naturally we will start loving our neighbor beyond just the church members.

We have been talking about all of this in the small group and we struggled with how will we actually make this happen without being to unnatural about it. Firstly we have decided to celebrate one another and the things God does in our lives without keeping it restricted to a scheduled small group night. And the second thing was that God asked us to bring the change and be the hands and feet. We should start responding on the things that knocks on the doors of our hearts. Be the change. Start inviting people over even if it is people you don’t really know. Become more interactive with people and put as much time and effort into relationships you build without it always being satisfying to you. God created us to need one another and to love one another with a selfless love. Let’s get out of our comfortable routines and selfish lifestyles and start giving and sharing our lives with each other.

*Thank you Lord for not just making me in this world, but surrounding me with precious jewels.

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One thought on “(gather)-ings

  1. I enjoyed this article, Simone. To live in life-giving community is what Magriet and I desire as well, and what we work towards. A loving community is also the environment wherein we hope to raise our children and into which we desire invite our neighbors. So glad we know and relate to you and others who dream and build the same Godly community.

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