Christ Covenant Quarantine Update #5: Practicing the "One-Anothers" When Quarantined
Whether we’re all together in the same room on Sunday morning, or trying to do community remotely, we’re always called to care for one another, in a variety of ways.
In what has become a bit of a new routine, in a time when we’re all somewhat out of our routines, I’m happy to bring this fifth video elder update, where we comment on a particular topic and speak to questions we’ve gotten from you in recent days.
My comments today are going to be on community, and while CCC has been striving to build community for a long time, we’ve never tried to do it in such a strange and bittersweet context. The strange part is pretty self-explanatory, as we wear masks to go into the grocery store, or get our temperature checked when we go into the office. Strange is a pretty fitting word.
Bittersweet is a word that’s gotten a lot of use lately as well, as the bitterness of being apart from others has for many been made a bit more bearable because of the sweetness of being with family more, taking more walks and bike rides, sitting down for more family meals, and maybe having just a little more calm.
It’s in this context that we find ourselves trying to walk out the "one-anothers" of Scripture, which are critical to a healthy church community, whether we’re in the building all at one time or connecting through calls, notes, texts and zoom meetings.
These one-anothers are where our faith is translated into action. I read a quote from Ray Ortlund recently where he said that our relationships with each other reveal what we really believe, as opposed to what we might think we believe. If that’s true, and it sounds pretty reasonable, what does your recent faithfulness in the one-anothers say about what you believe?
Tim Keller breaks down the dozens of these one another commands into three buckets: affirming one another, sharing with one another, and serving one another. Think through each of those for just a second.
How have you been affirming others in the CCC community? Examples might include how we “honor one another” (Rom 12:10), or accept one another, as Christ accepted you (Rom 15:7), or being kind and compassionate to one another (Eph 4:32). There are lots of ways to affirm other members here at CCC. How are you doing with that?
The same can be said for sharing with one another. There are lots of ways to share our goods or gifts or time, as we: offer hospitality (1 Pet 4:9), or carry one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2), or even by teaching and admonishing each other (Col 3:16).
Keller’s third bucket is about serving one another, specifically through accountability, as in passages like “confess your sins to one another, and pray for each other (Jam 5:16), or forgive whatever grievances you may have against one anther (Col 3:13), or "spur each other on toward love and good deeds" (Heb 10:24).
Again, there are dozens more of these one-anothers that could be touched on, as we think about a healthy community here at CCC, but the bottom line is the same. Whether we’re all together in the same room on Sunday morning, or trying to do community remotely, while we wait for a virus to abate, we’re always called to care for one another, in a variety of ways.
Christ obviously modeled that perfectly, as he laid down His life for those He would redeem, so we can look to His example. Thankfully, we also have many examples of that in our own church body, as so many of you have been loving one another well, with your time, your notes and texts, and so forth.
To those who are doing that, thank you. Please know that God sees, and is pleased. For those of us who have not been so faithful, God’s grace is readily available to those who seek it, and opportunities to walk faithfully are plentiful.
If you need help thinking through this, don’t hesitate to reach out to a staff member or elder if we can help you in any way.