This has been my last week working as the development worker for theMediaNet. I’ve been rushing around getting loose ends tied up and finishing all those tasks hanging around at the bottom of the to-do list. In between though, I’ve often been hit with waves of sadness.
As I was praying this week, and bringing the sadness to God, he really spoke to me about the fact that I’m not really leaving. I won’t be writing the emails that pop into your inbox every Wednesday or hosting the events, but I’m not really going anywhere. We are connected by something deeper than employment circumstance or geography. We have the most important fact of all of our lives in common. We are, at least some sense, the church. And the church is family.
Now I’ve like to caveat this, because I’m not one for sentimentality, with an acknowledgement that the Christian community is far from perfect. Whether in churches, Christian organisations or networks like this, we all have large capacity to hurt and disappoint to each other, to be superficial, to withdraw, to be pushing our own agendas and forget what is important. I’m sure there has been and will probably continue to me some of that in this work. But amongst that, our prayer is that this fellowship is significant, not (just) because it might help us get jobs or because it makes us feel less alone, but because God uses us corporately. There is no such thing as a lone ranger in the Kingdom.
I love these words that Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, a church that he knew and where he was known. Today they encompass my prayer for this network. Do keep in touch.
Philippians 1: 3-11
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Image by Avondale Pattillo UMC