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Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Speaking in the Light 5.31.2006

By Rick Racela

Here is the myth that we need to extract from our minds as we do our yearly spring cleaning:  Faith is something that you do alone.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have lived within the context of community forever.
 We were made in God’s image and although, at times, we pretend to embrace our “island-ness,”  we were not created to stand alone.  Isolationism is what “hell” is all about.  We were designed to dwell together, and we are at our best when we come together and live out this thing called Christianity with one another. 
The core problem to why we are not growing as we should in our faith is that what we call fellowship in our churches today isn’t really caring community at all.  It’s just another event.  We bounce from one big event to another.  Events are for crowds, and it is way too easy to stay anonymous in the big group.
 In the stadium approach to religious life, you can hide behind your images and facades and the most intimate thing that others will ever know about you is what the back of your head looks like because that is all they ever see every Sunday when you all come to church.
If there is not a place that you have within your life where you can truly be yourself and those around you know the real you, you will never grow an inch in your faith.  We’ve got to make more than “small” talk if we are ever going to be able to tackle the “big” issues of life.
  And if nobody knows you-, how can they assist you in the journey? And if you don’t know anybody else, how can God use you to help them?  And if you don’t care about anybody else, then your story may be way too much about you and not enough about the “one another’s” that Jesus himself told us we needed to love if we were ever going to be true followers of Him.
Will you make the commitment to dig into community?  Will you be willing to go out and let the real you play?  Will you put the pride aside and aggressively initiate opportunities to sit together, eat together, walk together, talk together, cry together, laugh together, learn together, love together – all of which will never happen if we aren’t together? 
I love this quote from the book, “Blue Like Jazz,” by Donald Miller.  He writes, “Jesus does not want us floating through space of just spending our lives sitting in front of the television.  Jesus wants us interacting, eating together, laughing together, and praying together.
 Loneliness is something that came with the fall.  If loving each other is a bit of heaven then certainly isolation is a bit of hell, and to that degree, here on earth, we decide in which state we would like to live.”
We need to choose the state of biblical caring community.  But it won’t happen by programming it.  It can’t be demanded – it must be desired.  But remember, God made us for family.  We were born needing our parents to take care of us to survive.  And in a healthy way, we still need each other to reach our spiritual potential.
 We won’t discover that by hiding under logs like fungus.  You are not fungus, you are a human being and you need people in your life to be healthy. 
Here is to the healthiest spring that we could ever have with the hopes and prayers that rather than catching more unnecessary “cold” shoulders from those around us, this would be a time of “warm” hearts that are genuinely offered and available so that we won’t stay what we were, but will become what God has desired for us to be.
Join Pastor Rudy at the Lighthouse Church’s Vacation Bible School.  It begins tonight and runs every Wednesday until June 28.  There is something for everyone nursery through junior high and a special class for adults.  The Lighthouse Church meets at Elementary No. 2 in Court House.  For service times and more Bible School information, call 465-6690. 

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