Picture in your mind’s eye, a very large jigsaw puzzle depicting Jesus Christ. The puzzle has billions of pieces. Together, we are the puzzle pieces that form the Body of Christ. When any piece of the puzzle is missing, the overall puzzle is not complete. Don’t be the missing piece in the Body of Christ. Please read more….
Up to this point in our nine-part series leading up to the 500th 4th Day Letter, we have discovered that we are blessed by God’s mercy, broken by our sins and wounds, and scared and afraid to let others see us without our masks on. We strive to hide our sins and wounds from others. This is not how God wants us to live. We are not meant to live in fear. Rather than living life scared, God wants us to live lives that are SHARED.
At the last supper Jesus took the bread, He blessed it, broke it, and shared it with His friends. The world is starving for Jesus Christ. God wants you and I, with Christ inside, to be shared with others so that they too can taste the Living Bread. By name, you and I have been taken/chosen by Christ. We are blessed, and broken, but sadly we are scared.
Jesus is the bread come down from Heaven. He is the eternal food that saves. God created us and He wants us to grow His Kingdom. Much like the bread at the Last Supper, we need to be blessed, broken and SHARED. We are not called to be Blessed, Broken and scared.
Take a moment to focus on the word SHARED and think about the letter H. If we are going to live authentic Christian lives, then the H in shared must stand for HONESTY. Honesty is defined as truthfulness, candor, or sincerity. If we are going to live honest, sincere lives then we need to admit our brokenness and our need to be saved by Jesus.
There is Joy in being saved. Some people will shout it from the mountain tops, while others will show it in a quiet way, but like the blind man healed by Jesus, all who are touched by Jesus will be changed. Let’s not shy away from telling others what He has done for us.
I hope you can clearly see that Christian Community is essential on our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived out His ministry on earth with His small group of Apostles, He sent out the disciples in twos, and He established His church on earth.
Friends, we are not an island unto ourselves. By God’s design, Christianity is not a solo activity. It is meant to be lived out in community. Mother Teresa told us that “Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “He who is alone with his sins is utterly alone.” Finally, Three Dog Night sang “One is the loneliest number.”
We must grow in our understanding that Christ manifests Himself to us through others and to others through us. St. Catherine of Siena said God told her, “For I could well have supplied you with all your needs, both spiritual and material. But I wanted to make you dependent on one another…”
Before we had smart cars, we had to rely on someone else to tell us when our brake lights were out on our car. Likewise, as Christians, God wants us to live in community so that our Christian brothers and sisters can tells us when the “light of Christ within us” has gone out. They can help to keep us on track.
Sirach 6 tells us, “Faithful friends are life-saving medicine.” Proverbs 17:17 states, “A friend loves at all times.” Truly, Christian friends are essential. Just like the paralytic in Luke 5:18, we often need the help of others to carry us to God.
As we become more aware of our sins and brokenness and experience the love and mercy of God, we become more capable at looking upon the many “wounded” we meet on the path of life with acceptance and mercy.
Christian movements such as Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, Via de Christo, Kairos and other similar movements have long encouraged the idea of meeting weekly in small Christian groups. I have been meeting weekly in one of these groups for 33 years. I strongly recommend that every Christian join or form a small group and meet weekly to share your life in Christ. The benefits are eternal! I have created two aids to help you build and sustain a successful Christian friendship group. (Keys to a successful group, weekly group format)
Corinthians 1:26-31 tells us, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, and the lowly and despised who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. Therefore, if we are honest about who we really are, God can work through us, even in our brokenness, to make a positive impact on someone else.
We are made in the image of God. Much like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit collectively make up the Trinity, as Christians, we collectively make up the Body of Christ. I will close with this question, “Are you living out your life as an active member of a small Christian community, or are you the missing piece of the puzzle?”
Heavenly Father, I beg you to convict my heart as to the importance of living out my life in Christian community. Alone I can do nothing. With your Son Jesus in my heart and surrounded by strong Christian friends I can confidently answer your call to grow The Kingdom of God. Amen!
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I NEED YOUR HELP TO WRITE MY NEW BOOK
There is still time left to win your free book. Many of you have already submitted your suggestions. I am writing a yearly devotional book. I am in the process of selecting 52 of the past 4th Day Letters, one for each week of the year. Each one will be presented in the book with a series of questions to reflect on for a week. I am asking for your input. Please write to me and tell me what your favorite 4th Day Letters are. I will randomly draw the names of ten people who respond, and they will receive a FREE copy of the book as soon as it is published. Entries must be received no later than May 28, 2021. The ten winners will be announced on June 1, 2021