It’s often said that if there are 10,000 steps between us and God, He will take 9,999 and leave one to us. We’ve spent 40 days allowing Him to move deeper into our hearts, souls, minds and efforts, and during Holy Week, we will respond by taking 1 step toward Him, and enter into something Jesus emulated during the week of His crucifixion.
Entering into community:
“And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” Luke 22:15
I recently read a joke that said “No one talks about the miracle of Jesus having 12 close friends in his thirties.” We laugh at that because we know how hard being in community is. As we move further into life, it’s difficult to acquire new friends or find where we fit into an established space, and even if we have community, it’s challenging to maintain between work, family and personal time. We talked about this in the entry, “Where do you belong,” and asked God to reveal our hang ups with community.
Since writing that and having discussions with others, the biggest hang up I’ve seen exposed is the complaint of not being understood. Even Jesus needed to deal with that, as illustrated here, at the last supper, where he had told his disciples over and over again that he was going to Jerusalem to die, and they didn’t understand. I imagine Jesus with his hand over his face, searching for the words to comfort his confused disciples for what seemed to be the 40th time, the deep sigh rolling out of his throat, realizing every time he said, “Well, it’s like this,” they didn’t get it. I imagine the temptation at many points in his walk with them to just admit he was in the wrong crowd and quietly tell them go back to life before they knew him, and go find some of the many learned people of his day.
Jesus knew their assumptions of everything He laid out were way off, as was proven that in his death, they mourned as though the direction for their lives was gone, and when He rose, Luke 24 says that the disciples didn’t believe the women when they told them, as it seemed like nonsense, but that didn’t stop him from actively pursuing them, pouring everything he had into them, loving them to the end. He knew, as he told Peter in John 13, that when all was said and done, it would click and that through this community, the world would know of a Son that loved them to the point of death so that they would have eternal life.
Today, we enter into Jesus’ example, and actively engage community. We commit to picking up the phone, pursuing friendships that have gone cold due to lack of maintenance and make time and space to be misunderstood, knowing that personal fulfillment and transformative love is there, just beyond the struggle and tension.
Who will you reach out to today?
What measures will you take to further integrate yourself into community?
Prayer: Jesus, you understand my trepidation is concerning community, as You experienced how difficult it is to live within it. Open my heart to the possibility of personal fulfillment and transformative love as I reach out to my friends and family today. Give me grace for the struggle and the tension and help me see them through Your eyes, and experience their value the way You do. Thank you for the opportunity to do life with one another, and impact the world around us by our unity. Amen.