"God's call on our lives is deep, rich friendships that are rooted and established in how he has called us to himself."
I'm hiking through the woods, engulfed in the stillness of the morning. Limbs crunching underfoot, my path soon crosses with a buck.
We hold a gaze. He moves on. So do I.
"God's call on our lives is deep, rich friendships that are rooted and established in how he has called us to himself"
This line rings in my ear. A sermon by Matt Chandler is playing on my phone: the importance of the community of faith. He has been working his way through the Apostles Creed.
"I believe in the holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints"
Christians throughout the ages have been driven by a desire to see God. We sing it in songs. We hear it in the prayers of the desperate. The prayers of the hungry. Christian mystics such as St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila wrestled deep into the interior of their souls for a glimpse of the King.
And why not? We are taught that the pure in heart are blessed because they see God(Matthew chapter 5 verse 8). We read in the pages of scripture that even though we see through the glass dimly now, we will one day see more (1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 12). It was even prophesied that as we walked closer with the Lord, we would begin to burn with a passion for him. That burning would then cause many to fast in desperation to see King Jesus. (Matthew chapter 9 verse 15).
At a chapel service while I was in College,I was told that God is often the God who hides; so seek and you will find. He is a God to be found. And lately, I am seeing that he is a God who is found in his people. Is it possible that one of the most profound ways we see the Lord is in relationships with others? That these deep friendship to which we are called can become the conduit through which we see God himself?
Two ways we see God
If this is the case, then there are at least two distinct ways that God has chosen to show himself through mortals. We are told that hidden in the face of the needy of this world, King Jesus is present. When we feed the hungry, care for the sick and clothe the naked, we have the definitive promise that in some mysterious way Jesus appears to us through those very people. If you thirst to see God, serve the people who have been run down by this life. In doing so you will not only be a representation of Christ to them, but they will be Christ to you. (Matthew chapter 25 verses 35-40).
We also see the Lord in the friendships we foster with those of the Christian faith. Many of us have countless stories of people who showed love or spoke love into our lives at just the right moment. This is another great mystery. All those brought into the body of Christ have the Spirit of this same God dwelling in them (Romans chapter 8 verse 9). When you interact with people of the community of faith, you interact with the Spirit of God in them as well.
"God's call on our lives is deep rich friendships that are rooted and established in how he has called us to himself"
These deep friendships call us further to Christ. These deep friendships can be glimpses of the glory of Christ revealed in your brother or sister.
As you move through your week, look for the Lord in the places that we are told we will find him. Look for him in the face of the needy. Look for him in the eyes of your brothers and sisters of faith. Look for him and you will find him. And maybe others will begin to find him in you.
Dan Peterson lives near Chicago, Illinois, USA. He enjoys discovering old books, new places, and good coffees. His dream is to summit a mountain on every continent and have a pet pygmy marmoset.
Dan Peterson's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/dan-peterson.html