Yesterday was a national Holiday. It was also a day to begin to get to know people in the community into which I have just moved. My wife and I attended a community gathering in the center of town. It was an event put on by the chamber of commerce. It was a wonderful gathering of local people. It was a delight to get to meet some of the folks who live in this town.
A disciple of Jesus Christ has the responsibility to seek to meet people, to get to know people. Why? Because God desires to love people and a follower of Jesus seeks to desire what God desires. As beings created in the image of God we have at the center of our being a nature of love. This nature is deformed and corrupted and thus separated from God. In this state we do not love as we were intended from creation but through the gift of grace we can grow toward wholeness, toward loving as God loves. It is this growth in love that awakens within us just how important people really are and how important it is for us to get to know them.
As I meet people, I pray that God will allow me to see them as God sees them. I pray that as I am given grace I will be able to understand how important it is for me to help others receive the gift of grace as well. In this bond of grace we can develop true community. In this involvement in true community we can join with one another in building on the foundation that has been laid in our lives, the Kingdom of God where the love of God reigns.
We only have a certain amount of time in this world to “get it”. So much of our time is consumed in doing things that matter only to this world and in a very limited way. But the spiritually grounded relationships we seek to develop now, the people in whom we invest our time and togetherness with now, these things will bless us forever. In these relationships we have the opportunity learn more about love and to love the Lord as the Lord lives in the life of others.