We are family. For this week’s Monday Minute, Muriel shows us the gift we Christians have of participating in a God-given family of believers.
We Are Family
by Muriel Gregory
“Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.”
It was a beautiful day in late spring. I loved our little neighborhood cul de sac on post. Whenever the weather permitted (which is not often on Fort Drum), we were all outside chatting, and it was not uncommon for an impromptu BBQ to take place.
On that particular day, a fireman showed up at the front door to inform me that there was a gas leak on the street. It was essential that my kids and I leave the house to be safe. He made the same request of the rest of the neighbors, so we did what we do best and gathered on the front lawn. It did not take long for us to decide that ordering pizza was a must, and the gas leak became the backdrop for a fun evening among friends. After a couple of hours, the firemen informed us that it was safe to go home. I will always remember their surprised expression as we all thanked them and returned to our conversations and pizza.
The fellowship was not over yet.
We currently live on the economy, but I will always treasure the ease with which a community happens on a military installation. As my friend Kori calls it, it is a “framily” – friends who become family. Shaped by our common lifestyle, struggles, joys, and the unique tempo of the military, we do life together. Truth is we are meant to be in community. We are not to do life alone.
“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Did you know that the term “one another” is mentioned over a hundred times in the New Testament (love, care, admonish, pray, etc.…) Needless to say that the concept is central to the Church Jesus invited us to. From the beginning, God knew that it was not good for man to be alone.
Love is the fuel of the Christian community. It sparks our forgiveness, our encouragement. Without love, we are nothing.
Allow me to be real for a minute here. Love is HARD. Some people are easy to love, and some are … well, not. Oh, and not all duty stations had the ease of fellowship that Fort Drum offered. There were plenty of “desert” places, where I had to work hard to find a community. Love your neighbor is a sweet sentiment until you move next to that neighbor. Ok, rant over.
The truth is, I learned more about love and community when it was hard to love, and community was scarce. As an introvert, the COVID 19 confinement felt like a gift from God at first: online meetings, social distancing, no physical contact. However, I quickly started to miss meeting with people face to face and yes, even hugging every once in a while.
We are created to do life together. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, it is not an ideal but a reality in which we may participate. A gift from God to help us grow.
Read: 1 John 4:7-12
Reflect: Why does this verse say we are to love one another? What does this verse promise if we do?
Respond: God has you where He needs you to be. Where is your community? How can you love the people around you?
Lord, thank you for the gift of community. Thank you for the growth that takes place when I do life with other people. Help me love well that you may abide in me. Amen.
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
1 Corinthians 13
1 Peter 4:8