What’s the most important thing that we share together? Why is it so hard to ‘lose myself’ in order to enter into this shared reality? Once again I’m (though a bit late) taking five minutes with the Five Minute Friday #fmfparty gang to write unedited on a theme sent out by Kate Motaung. The word-prompt today is SHARE.
(You can join in too – here’s how.)
It’s so easy to make excuses. I’ve always thought that I had no idea how to share things because I’m an only child. I never learned to negotiate (aka fight) with siblings, to participate with peers in a family, to give and take. At least not in that setting.
But then, from what I’ve heard, sibling rivalry is fierce, and it doesn’t come naturally for those with brothers or sisters either. What about that man in the Bible who went to the Teacher and said,
‘Lord, tell him! Tell him to give me my share…! LORD! It’s not fair! I want…’ (reinterpreted and paraphrased by me!! Real version here in Luke 12.13-15)
It’s been such a painful journey for me, discovering more and more what God really wanted for us by putting us in his family. His family culture is different from every single family culture each of us was brought up in. We all have to shed our own way of doing things – our own normal – and enter into His normal.
In His family, we love. In His family, we learn to care for each other. To love and provide for each other. To give of ourselves, our time, our gifts, for the benefit of the whole. In His family, we learn what community is.
But it’s an opt-in. Though we are invited, so many of us are slow to enter this. We’re maybe in a church where the done way of doing things is to just turn up on a Sunday, or be part of a Bible group. But that’s about it. Maybe not many people are actually sticking their heads above the parapet and risking giving. Real vulnerability. Real sacrifice or self-giving. It would be awkward. It would be risky.
So we go through the motions, and pretend to be sharing our lives at the Lord’s table, but in fact we’re just sharing a bit of bread and juice. The spiritual vitality is missing and we’re missing out. We’re afraid to be seen. Afraid to be seen by each other, and so find ourselves hiding our hearts from Him too.
He calls us to share in his body and blood… symbolically, and through sharing our own lives with each other.
My friend is engaged to be married. When I consider what my friend is going through as she prepares for marriage, I see her willing to lay down her finances, her home, her choice of church, her children, time, very identity, in order to exchange it for a new, shared identity with her future husband. It’s no small thing.
And being part of the Body of Christ – really, wholly entering in to what God intends for us is no less radical a change of identity. It’s not about ‘me’ any more. It’s about finding my place in Him among His people.