Today I spent three hours catching up with a dear friend I haven’t talked to in quite some time. We sat around her table, a red cloth draped over it, and dipped our spoons into hot tomato soup. We talked about our dreams, our desires, our disappointments and our failures. We exposed our hearts in all their heaviness and messy disarray. I stumbled for words at first, hesitant to let down the walls of feigned confidence as I toyed with the straight-lined seam of the red tablecloth. When the walls came down, the truth came out. I confessed my sin and struggles, hiding none of the tattered edges. In doing so, the heavy weight of my burdens seemed to be lifted. I know we weren’t meant to bear them alone.
As we cleared our dirtied dishes and settled onto her red, plaid couch, I realized the importance of Christian community. I realized that if we try to bear the burdens of this life alone, we will crumble beneath its weight. We are all part of one Body with one purpose. We are meant to glorify Christ, and we can only do that when we bear one another’s burdens, when we elevate the needs of others above our own and when we seek to serve rather than be served. To be part of the Body of Christ requires the humility to lay bare our souls in all their muck and allow others to be strong for us where we are weak. But more than that, it requires the selflessness to consistently seek to serve others—to be Christ to them, to love with reckless abandon regardless of the return.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.