Doing life, and death, together
Henry (not his real name) has advanced stage brain cancer and is now in hospice, dying. His wife, Phyllis (not her real name), is constantly at his side. But she’s not the only one. Most of the time other people are there to speak softly to Henry and to hug and comfort Phyllis. They bring snacks and food for Phyllis and they bring their heartfelt love and prayers. Phyllis can’t imagine how she would deal with this without those friends.
Those friends are their brothers and sisters, not in the familial context you might be assuming, but in the context of the family of Christian faith. And sometimes, the relationships developed by brothers and sisters in Christ are even more faithful and fruitful than any other. It is actually part of God’s perfect plan for us!
In Jesus Christ, we share our need for Him and our sufficiency in Him! In Christ, we come face to face with our weaknesses, our needs and His provision. In Christ, we discover His amazing grace and a community of people who are living in that grace, just like us. Christ Jesus unites. He is our common ground. Christ Jesus inspires our relationships, like nothing before and never before.
The scriptures show us what those relationships with other Christians can and should look like. We’re to love as God has loved us. We’re to prove our love to be sacrificial because “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son!” We’re to be forgiving of each other’s faults because of the forgiveness we’ve received through Christ. We’re to be “one in the Spirit, one in the Lord,” just as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
If you don’t have that in your life, I encourage you to pray that God would direct you to a church that teaches the whole counsel of God; what it means to be redeemed in Christ and what it means to be part of the body of Christ. You’ll find other people like you who need one another and want to be a blessing to one another.
It’s what we do. We walk through life, and even death, together. It’s who we are and what we do because of Whose we are and what He did.