Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

COVENANT COMMUNITY: There was an interesting moment Wednesday evening at church, right after the closing prayer at my men’s small-group Bible-study.

We all said “Amen;” but then nobody moved. The circle remained unbroken, and I could see faint smiles on several faces, even a couple of silly grins. Eventually one of the silly grins tried to articulate the moment, and he did a pretty good job.

“This is it,” he said, “This is why this is so good. It’s the camaraderie, the being together, the fellowship; it’s the fact that we can share all our different opinions and ideas, and be honest, and feel encouraged. Every week the stuff we talk about bounces around in my head for several days. It makes a real difference in the way that I live.”

There were nods, more smiles, and even a couple of “Amens.” You see, we love one-another, and we need each other, and we learn so much from listening, and we’re not afraid to admit it; in fact – rather than pretend, and bluster, and posture – we embrace our need for community.

IMG_5338LIFE! So I look around our church, and see the huge number of small groups that get together for support, and encouragement, and accountability, and it’s no surprise that there is vibrant life here.

We were created for community! Our need for one-another isn’t a weakness, it’s at the core of what it means to be fully functioning human beings. Fact is, if we want to move towards living at capacity, we cannot afford to deny the power and the efficacy of covenant community.

Embracing our identity as God’s children comes with a responsibility to live as disciples; the community of faith is where we learn how. Worship together is our corporate celebration; but it’s in the nurture and challenge of the small group, and of “doing life together,” that we begin to breathe life and passion into the practice of following Jesus.

JOB: This week we talked about the Book of Job, and we were all drawn to the passage from chapter 19, where – despite the calamities, the loss, the pain, and the stinging criticism from his “friends” – Job stands firm in his identity as a child of the Living God:

“O that my words were written down!
    O that they were inscribed in a book!
 O that with an iron pen and with lead
    they were engraved on a rock forever!
 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;
 and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    then in my flesh I shall see God.” – Job 19:23-26

My brothers at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church encourage me in so many ways, and they are a key part of how “I know that my Redeemer lives!”

I know this blog is read by both women and men, but these particular words, this morning, are for the guys: “Listen up! We need one another. Not because we are weak, but so we can become more strong. Not because we are insufficient, but because we are exceptional when we stand together. Not because of what we can do, but because of what Jesus will do through us.”

In love, and because of love – DEREK

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “why we need one another

  1. Karen Jones says:

    Your men’s group sounds like such a blessing. The first disciples were a small group who probably did just the things you have articulated for one another. That kind of fellowship and support are in the DNA of the Christian movement! And they stretched one another as well. I’m forever fond of Clarence Jordan’s comment about putting Simon the Zealot and Matthew the publican in the same fellowship: “…there was many a night Jesus had to sleep between those two boys!” But what Jesus did through them in connection with one another still stands. Blessed holy work…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. derekmaul says:

      Thanks, Karen. Your comments are always encouraging and your words true. We now have five men’s groups meeting weekly for encouragement in discipleship. But of course that’s just scratching the surface of the need.
      Peace – DEREK

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Randi says:

    I agree!! Why do you think it is that we have this ingrained in us that we don’t want to reach out? Or that we don’t need to reach out? Why do you think we have such a hard time connecting to one another? In a Christian church group especially, you would think that it would be easier, but in my experience, it’s not. It is still difficult to form together as one and be able to rely on one another and trust each other.
    Recently I have been going to a church where the people seem to be helpful and want to actually know each other outside of the church and not just know each other on Sunday mornings. This has been a huge blessing. However it still seems the majority of the people keep their distance to some degree. Just wondering your thoughts…. 🙂

    Like

    1. derekmaul says:

      Good comments, and questions, Randi.
      Short answer – and the reason I’ve published so many books specifically for men (see link -http://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4) – is that we live in a culture where men are most definitely discouraged from being vulnerable and open-hearted with one-another. We’re more about the clenched fist than the open hand.
      But I am hopeful, and committed to working to tear down walls.

      Peace to you – DEREK

      Liked by 1 person

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