This past weekend was really eventful for me in learning a little more about the importance of Love in the Church in particular. I got together with a friend last Friday, someone with whom I have alternately great times and tough times. We are very similar people and have similar hang ups, so we can often repell each other even though we so well understand each other. Anyways, we got together and started talking and all of the sudden we were admitting to each other all these things we struggled with and the things that were hurting our friendship and it was a really good, healing time for both of us. I really felt God's love for her, which is characteristically vastly different feeling than mine. His Love is deep and soul moving and powerful to heal and uplift and bring Life. Mine is more like simple affection--good feelings--and is more like a whimper compared to the gentle hurricane of God's Love. You know what I mean, I hope.
So anyways we both ended up really experiencing God's love that night--He was there showing us Himself and it was so good. I got home at 1am but didn't want to sleep. I felt so full and alive. So instead, I wrote out some thoughts. Here is an excerpt:
"It is love in the Church, in Christ’s Body, that shuts out the devil. It binds us together and allows each part to serve the others and be served so that the whole functions perfectly, allowing the Head to guide and go and do whatever He pleases. We MUST be unified. But before it can happen, the only way it is possible, is if we first are abiding in Christ. And more and more solidly, deeply all the time. It is HIS love that is shed abroad in our hearts...
..in Christ, how much distinction is there really between us as individuals? Does He look at our natural families and see boundaries and distinctions? To some extent—one man and one wife—and yet the bigger reality is that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free man, for you are all one in Christ Jesus
.” ... We just need to love each other. I think we draw boundaries and say we should care more for blood than for other believers. But I think God sees it the other way: Body first. “honor one another above yourselves…” “share one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ”…these are our goals and the reality of living in Him, in His Spirit. ... No individual believer, related or not, would be more valuable than another to us. We are all one in Christ. The need of any brother, young or old, is a need to be cared for by the Body. It is possible, even likely, that I in myself am not equipped to meet all of the needs of my husband and son. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need the Body.
Until we are all rooted and grounded in love, in Christ Himself, though, there is no possibility for those boundaries to truly crumble. As long as we live in the natural self, it is most practical and probably most beneficial to draw boundaries and care for flesh and blood. But God has called us to more—He has given us more. This is a new age when we are free of natural means and rules and customs. Its hard to abandon them, because they are ingrained and because there is some fear to be dealt with. But we are not entrusting our families and lives to each other, but to CHRIST. And once He is fully formed in us, that is exactly as it will seem to us. I think we would naturally begin to love and serve across blood lines and not even see a distinction. But again, we must grow up into Him, and this change will be a natural consequence. It is something to look to. The world in its present form is passing away. Let’s embrace now all that He has given to us!"
So its just the beginning of understanding. And I have been criticized for failing to see real love between believers already happening. I am sure that it does. But I am an idealist, and I am looking for the Church to be all that God longs for it to be. For us to mature in Christ, to learn to hear and follow Him eagerly in everything. Yes there is some love, but does it extend to even the "lesser" members of the Body? Don't we still play favorites a lot? Until the love is completely freely given to any child of God's, I am not convinced it is wholly His love we are seeing. Because He plays no favorites, but we do. Some people do love other believers more than their own families, but that might be also because they find no love in their earthly families. I am not saying that this is a bad situation--how wonderful to have brothers and sisters in Christ!! But I want to see every brother the way God does. And I admit that right now, I have favorites.
So anyways, its all a lot of rambling. I guess I'm just ready to see something real and supernatural at work amongst us--I want to see God's real, powerful Love, that we experience and that pours into our hearts and out to others indiscriminately. And if you say it won't ever happen on earth, then I say maybe you're right, but I would rather keep hoping for it and asking God for it than to accept the status quo.
P.S. I enjoyed LOST last night, even though I agree with Jenny
that Kate's impetuousness is tiresome and frustrating. (however Evengeline Lily's performance never is!) When I saw her with Jack last night I was like "uh uh! oh no you don't! You already chose Sawyer it's all over for you. But then, you don't even know what you want." Which made me feel kind of hopeless for her and about her in a way. All I have to say is that if she ever ends up with jack, she's really going to have to earn him and its going to be a BIG price--like some honesty and self-sacrifice and no more running and some real, genuine thinking for a change. ...Locke was so weird I don't even know what to make of him right now, yet his brief appearance was very unsettling which was cool. I liked that it made Kate seem very alone. Somehow I think that was key. The smoke monster was scary and cool as always. I loved watching it crash against the "wall" in front of Juliet's face. Yeah, it was a good episode. I do want to see some more Desmond though. That guy is awesome.