This past weekend, we opened up the topic on our second core action: Journey deeply WITH others. And, we did this by exploring Romans 12, and Paul’s call to the Church to create a home in a heartless Empire.
To help us better understand the context of this passage, we looked at two fictional, but historically accurate stories that explained what it was like to live in the Roman Empire, and therefore how people would have heard Paul’s message at that time. And, what we learned is that people were desperate for community, for connection, and for home in a world where home was hard to find.
MAIN POINT: We need to live WITH one another.
This is what Paul’s challenge to the Church is all about. We need to offer our lives to one another to create community and a home. That the only way to make it through this world is together. As Paul says…
- “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” (v. 2)
- “Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.” (v. 3)
- “We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” (v. 5)
- “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” (v. 9)
- “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (v. 10)
- “Rejoice in our confident hope.” (v. 12)
- “Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” (v. 12)
- “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” (v. 13)
- “Bless those who persecute you.” (v. 14)
- “Live in harmony with each other.” (v. 16)
- “Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.” (v. 16)
- “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” (v. 18)
This is a manifesto for community. This is a charter for Christian home-making in a brutal world.
CHALLENGE: Journey deeply WITH others.
For us, at Bethany, the first place this obviously happens is in Home Church. But, that’s not the only place it can happen. There are many different ways we can experience community, but whatever that looks like for you, what it absolutely must be is…
- Regular and consistent.
- Intentional, and not haphazard.
- Vulnerable, and about sharing our lives together.
- Committed to difference, because the community of God is meant to be diverse and about crossing boundaries to create a home for everyone.
So, our challenge this week is to journey deeply WITH others. To actually put that into practice right away. Because, we need each other to make it through this world.