The word "relationship" has been prevalent on my mind, particularly in ways of how we interact with our families, within our church and with those who are sometimes near but yet far away (i.e. the person who cut me off in traffic). Questions arise such as:
- How am I relating to my husband, wife or children?
- How am I relating to members in my church family?
- How am I relating to those who are not within my generation (i.e. millennials, generation x, baby boomers)?
- How do I respond in the best way to a friend with cancer who is very very private?
- How do I relate to someone in ministry in a loving way?
- How do I relate to someone who disagrees with me?
- How can we grow our church?
I believe from the general to the specific the answers to these questions are through established and establishing wholesome relationships. While sometimes we may wish we could do everything alone, this is not how God made us. We suffer when we live alone and work alone. Sociologists have found that numerous bad things take place in our emotional and physical human development when there is no social contact. As a matter of fact, there are very few things we can do alone. So then it is a necessity for us to live together and more importantly being in relationship with one another is how Christ is lived among us, his church. Every time we baptize a baby we are called on as the community of the believers to be an integral piece and part in the raising of that child in the Word of God. It boils down to being in "relationship" with one another.
Jesus served as a role model in how to live together though relationships. He told us to love God first and love our neighbors, we are not to work in the ministry alone, he ate with people who were not always his friends, he met the needs of others and he loved unconditionally. These are tall tasks for us as we live with each other within our homes, within the church, and within the world; but tasks nonetheless for which we can strive.
A reminder and a word of encouragement are offered and that is to let us pay attention to our relationships as we live together in communion; and on a continuous basis be kind, generous, truthful, understanding, loving and compassionate with one another.
Peace and Blessings to you,