Following Jesus...by Loving One Another2
So you joined a Community Group back in September and now it's the beginning of February. At first it was exciting; you had the summer off and were glad to be back in regular fellowship with people from Church.
But now you hear the steady dripping noise of the kitchen faucet when nobody is talking during a discussion. Or maybe your skin is beginning to bristle because THAT person is talking again. Or perhaps you've heard the sound of that ancient voice saying, "If only you were in that other community group, or if THAT person was not in your group..."
Welcome to real life in Community Groups.
Community is really easy when you are with people who think and act exactly like you, right? But it becomes more difficult when you gather in a small group of people who perhaps have all those characteristics that just annoy you or push you away because of (what feels like) the gulf of difference between you.
But this is exactly what the gospel is designed for: bringing together those who are very different to embrace each other in love and care because of their love for the gospel. Jesus said it this way in John 13:34-35:
A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
What is the point of Community Groups at ECC? To love one another, even when it is difficult.
Look around at your Community Group and ask yourself: what am I doing to love these individuals? In the coming weeks, I challenge you to do one thing for each member in your group to show them your love. Tell me how it goes for you and what God does through you.
Is there a member in your group sick? Serve them.
Is there a member in your group lonely? Visit them.
Is there a member in your group discouraged? Encourage them.
Is there a member in your group stressed? Do something to relieve them.
Remember: it is no accident whom God has placed around you in your group. God has brought you together to learn from each other and love each other. What will be most attractive to people on the outside of ECC will be the gospel-centered community happening on the inside of ECC.
Now go: go and fulfill the new commandment that Jesus has give us at ECC. Follow Jesus...by loving one another.