How can it possibly be 2018 already? It seems like just a few weeks ago that we rang in 2017! Time sure waits for no one. Each new year is similar to a large version of a new day. There are new decisions and opportunities on a much grander scale. Our family ends each year by praying and processing through what this new time can accomplish together. Shortly after we started dating, we realized that our lives were running parallel with each other. The trajectory of our lives were so similar in so many ways. During conversations we realized these veins of cohesion followed specific themes.
January is officially upon us, and it is time for our theme reveal for 2018! Through prayer and focus upon where we feel God is leading us, a certain trend became obvious for us. Our strongest desires are to break out of familiar patterns of relating. Part of this is removing the wall of comfort and begin to reestablish life patterns without pattern. So as we unveil the banner, queue the pyrotechnics and dancers! (That may be a bit over-dramatic, but cut us some slack!)
Jesus had His community. Some were occasional or one-off meetings. Others were more frequent. They allowed Jesus to come so close before they pushed Him away (John 6:66). Still others were more intimate, but not consistent. There were two final categories in terms of His friendships. The first were His nine apostles and the second were the three. For just a minute let’s focus on the difference between those last two groups.
Month after month Jesus traveled the countryside with his friends. They laughed together, ate together. Simply put, they shared life together. There is a difference between spending time with someone and learning about them. Learning the intimate details concerning their thoughts can bring healing to their hearts. How is this so, you ask? It is simple. How many times do you want to just be heard?
There has been a life-group that meets in our home for a little while now. We share meals and follow a Bible based parenting or marriage curriculum together. The most rewarding times shared are when we learn the quirkiness of each person. Following the course of life from meeting to meeting causes tremendous laughter among all concerned.
Simply put, authentic community brings the abundant life that Jesus spoke about.
Our goal this year is to intentionally invest our energy in relationships. Especially those where we mutually add value to each other’s lives. Some good relationships will be strengthened while others will be given less attention due to unnecessary negativity and drama. Others will hopefully be formed from scratch.
The purpose of this is life for us and for our family of four. It is wanted and needed.
What has community done for you? We’d love to hear from you!
Here’s to a new year, a new theme, and new placed emphasis on positive influences in our community of friends.
Jake and Shannon