One of the loveliest aspects of my work across the team, is experiencing that wonderful sense of community; families and friends and neighbours helping each other out…..
“I remember me mam running down the street with a pan of lobby for somebody who was poorly.”
This gift is so spiritual, loaded with purpose, and godly concern. It is the heart of Jesus.
This shows us that supporting each other is not merely a kind act of helping out, but a way of loving the Lord Himself,
As we roll into a cost of living crisis, I’m sure this spirit of kinship will bear us along – and yet we must be on standby as community churches, and alert to the Lord’s calling. He may be asking us to work together to offer some special support to those in need – both within and outside our fellowships. When Paul writes to the Galatians, he includes these simple words:
This shows us that supporting each other is not merely a kind act of helping out, but a way of loving the Lord Himself.
Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” (“The Sad Poor Ones”) is a heart-warming book (and also an amazing musical!) It is full of acts of kindness in an unjust and cruel world. For me, the most moving part of the whole book, and maybe the truth that undergirds its meaning, is Jean Valjeans’s journey through the muck and filth of the Paris sewers. His adopted daughter, Cosette, has fallen in love with the political protester, Marius. Word comes to Jean, that Marius is across Paris lying gravely ill on the wrong side of the barricades. Without telling Cosette, he removes a man-hole cover and sets off wading, in darkness, through a river of the muck and excrement of Paris. He emerges through a grate on the other side of the violence, finds Marius and carries him, held over his head, back through the same canal of toxic sludge.
“Jean Valjean continued to advance, supporting the dying man, who was, perhaps, a corpse. The water came up to his arm-pits; he felt that he was sinking; it was only with difficulty that he could move in the depth of ooze which he had now reached. He still held Marius on high, and with an unheard-of expenditure of force, he advanced still; but he was sinking. He had only his head above the water now and his two arms holding up Marius……he caught a faint glimpse above him of the drooping head and livid face of Marius; he made a desperate effort….”
Victor Hugo once explained that this was a picture of the sewage of his own life and how Jesus came to an unreachable man and carried him out of the stinking, sinking muck he had got himself into.
We must never forget that as we bear the weight of others, we too have a Rescuer, Who will never hesitate to come into the vileness and utter darkness of our lives – no matter what we’ve done. He will bring us back into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
“Brother, sister let me serve you.
“Let me be as Christ to you;
“pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.
“We are pilgrims on a journey, and companions on the road;
“we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.” Amen