May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12(NIV)
Dear Friends in Christ,
I pray that you are well and thriving as we move into the fall season! We thrive most especially in the core relationships that we need as human beings: relationship with God in Christ, and relationships with each other in Christ. Christians aspire to love one another as Jesus loved us. Sometimes this is hard because of our own burdens that we bear; sometimes this is hard because those around us are as imperfect as we are (!). And sometimes this is hard because true caring for each other can be hard for others to receive—hard for us to receive.
God calls us to be a community that cares for each other, with relationships of meaning and purpose. Living into this vision of Christian Community requires us to be open to each other, to go beyond the superficial, to risk sharing our vulnerabilities and our struggles. Relationships of depth require us to be open to relationships of depth. How can we bear one another’s burdens if we are isolated from each other?
Perhaps we fear the accountability that comes with such relationships. But true Christian accountability is life-giving and builds-up rather than tears down. If my brother helps me to walk more closely with God and with him, then we are all blessed. True Christian relationships involve our openness and vulnerability; they take investment and risk. But the rewards come from God, from whom all blessings flow. And those blessings, as Paul wrote, overflow to others as well. This is my prayer for you and for all of us together, thriving in Christ together, giving and receiving true care from one another.
Yours in Christ,