I have been thinking a lot the last few weeks about relationships. Our relationship with God, but also our relationships with others, both those in the church and those not. Psalm 8:4 asks “what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” You Version NIV. This is a pretty deep question to me. This verse doesn’t even touch the deepest question to me though. God is so majestic and powerful, the Creator of all things. His creation is beyond all our understanding and more complicated than we can even imagine but not only is He mindful of us mere humans, He wants to have a relationship with us. Wow, that kinda blows the mind doesn’t it? The most powerful, knowledgeable, and wonderful being wants not only to love us but to be in a relationship with us.
This tells me that God thinks relationships are important. We need to strive to be in a relationship with Him by reading the bible and study, and learning His ways. Not because we want to earn his love but because when we love, we desire to know more about the object of our love and we desire to do things that please the one we love. Along with this, would be learning in community. Going to Church Sunday morning and worshiping with others is very important but I think we get a lot more learning about God and deepening our relationship both with Him and our brothers and sisters at other times. Sunday school is a good time to get to know others and deepen our relationship with them as well as God. I’ve heard some say things like “I have been to Sunday school all my life and now I don’t think I need to go any more” I have a selfish reason for not liking this thought. I am much newer in the church. I have not been to Sunday school all my life. The example, experience, and knowledge that could be brought by those who feel they no longer need to go is missed by me and others who may need that one thing that only you can supply.
Small groups or life groups are also very important. The relationships can grow so much in this smaller setting. I have no idea how other small groups do things but I know that in ours we encourage, laugh, rejoice, cry, console, and so much more. We are a big family complete with the weird cousin Yvonne and the lovely Aunt that has to hug everyone at least twice each time. We are there for each other when things don’t go as we plan and we are left scrambling, and we are there to rejoice together when blessings rain on us. We are also there to help each other in our walk with Christ. We learn from the different perspectives and sometimes we are guided by the examples of those who have been walking longer than us. Sometimes we are guided by the truths we hear and realize a turn we need to make, or a new direction we need to take. It is all done with love and respect for each other and a shared Love of God and desire to please Him. We get together each week as part of our worship to our God.
Usually we have a Wednesday night meal and classes. This is a great time to get to know some of the people we go to church with but aren’t in our small group. It’s an opportunity to visit with those we don’t see as often. It is a great time to learn other’s stories and learn from their perseverance and example. We also have the opportunity to learn in the classes, each person bringing a bit of a different perspective to the conversations.
Awhile back I started hearing “worship doesn’t happen in rows, but in circles” I think I have figured out what that means. When we are truly a community we talk. We get to know each other and we have relationships. If God wants a relationship with this vessel made out of dust, then yes I do think it is worship to cultivate a relationship with Him and with others who are seeking the same. I also think that when we cultivate relationships beyond our own church, it too is worship. When we reach out to someone in our community that may not be just like us, it is reaching out to another of God’s vessels of dust that He has “crowned with glory and honor” Psalm 8:5 You Version NIV.
So let’s start a conversation. Lets find a small group that we can feel comfortable enough to share who we are. Lets go to lunch with someone we haven’t talked that much to. Let’s go to that class we were thinking of skipping. Someone there may just need what we have to offer.
Disclaimer: I admit to the fact that this is very selfish on my part. I learn so much from all those that I am able to get to know that I want to be able to get to know even more. I want to worship with you by building a relationship with you as we both build our relationship with God.
Some blogs I have found encouraging or useful lately are: http://www.thepalmerperspective.com/2014/07/03/the-romantic-part/