Many moons ago I set out to learn all the words from Romans 12. Now when I look back through the fog of remembering and forgetting there is this line that jumps out again and again
and each belongs to all the others
It rings loud this theme of belonging
of the lonely being placed in families
of being known by our love for one another
Christianity is not a solo journey. There are admonitions not to give up meeting together, challenges to show generosity and hospitality, especially to those in the family of believers.
Still I cling stubbornly to my right (or ‘value system’ to Christianise it) to be independent. We bandy around tired clichés ‘God helps those who help themselves’ and believe that not wanting to be another ‘needy’ person somehow elevates our moral status.
If the death of Jesus has not proved to us yet that we are helpless to do it alone then we are truly further from our centre than we realise.
So I take hold of my self-esteem, which is something I have more of than I need, and I remind myself that community, unity, fellowship means more than providing endless social engagements and potluck dinners – frozen pizzas and sausage rolls to the trestle tables! Relationship is a two-way street and I cannot be the only person who is never in need of help.
Moses had the strength in his hands to win the battle for the Israelites only he didn’t have the strength to hold his hands up. So one on either side – Aaron and Hur – did for him what he could not do for himself.
There are times when I have choked on the belief that tells me unless I do it all by myself I cannot have credit for the outcome.
So I’ve settled for holding onto pride and a lesser outcome.
In this instance it was Moses’ hands that held the victory. God had given Moses the anointing for the job – so shouldn’t he have been able to do it for himself? Surely, surely if God has called me to do something I should have all the resources I need to achieve it all by myself. ‘Those he calls he equips’ and all that….
We forget, I forget, we serve a trinity – One God forever in loving relationship and endless unity – isn’t that a pattern of what we are called into as well?
Today I feel invited to lay down my self-imposed, pride-inducing, self-sufficiency and lean into the support of others.
I love this picture of Moses exhausted and worn down – his heart beating for the people he loved, wanting to support them, anointed to support them, unable to go on. Then two friends push over a large rock and sit him down, then they take a stand next to him and lift his hands. They enable his abilities to be fully recognised in this instance. They stand with him and give him what he can no longer do alone.
They give him the support to move fully into the anointing and victory and blessing he has been given in that moment.
I’ve been sending out some emails lately. Leaning in to the support I have, to realise something I feel called to do. I am finding that I am not diminished in the asking, my work is not diminished in the support, rather I am enriched and my contribution is infinitely enlarged in the beautiful people I have around me.
Could it be that:
Humility + Unity = Victory
Unity is more than not disagreeing and hanging out all the time – in fact I think unity might be neither of those things. Genuine unity, genuine community must include being better because we work together.
Being better because we draw out more of the best in each other.
Being better because we realise together what we could never realise alone.
Would someone pull up a rock for me and sit alongside me while I try to offer my contribution to the battle?
1 Corinthians 12v26
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.