This Lent season is all about celebrating the incarnation and crucifixion of Jesus. We can not stop there. We have to model our lives after this example: reaching out to others, loving them, living life with them, and pointing them to the good news of Jesus Christ, that is the Gospel. That is how we follow Christ’s example. We, as Christians, are called to have these kind of relationships. It is through these relationships that we are able to recognize who we are, and who we are in Christ. This is no simple relationship that God is calling us to have with people, for it was no simple relationship that Christ has with us.
To truly live as a disciple of the incarnate, crucified, and resurrected One, we must not only acknowledge the present humanity of the other but also enter into a relationship where we share the place of the other. It is not enough to enter into a relationship where we simply meet the other in a kind of benign relationship— being nice, sharing a laugh, and being happy that the other person is present— while ignoring the other’s poverty (emotional, financial, spiritual, cultural, or physical) and pain. To stop here is to stop short of relationship. Rather, relationship, empowered by the humanity of God, demands action that is responsible for the very humanity of the other. Therefore, to be in a relationship is to take full responsibility for the other, standing in his or her place, becoming his or her advocate. (Andrew Root)
A year ago I did just that with two pretty amazing guys and I have never been the same since. I spent my senior year discipling two men, meeting with them on a weekly basis, living life with them, and loving them. What started as a relationship based on me selecting two guys to disciple ended with them becoming two of my best friends. It was through these relationships that i was able to finally realize what God wanted out of my life. It was ultimately because of these two men that I decided to go to seminary. In recognizing their humanity, I realized my own. And now these two men are doing the same. One is, for the second year in a row, leading a small group of men with InterVarsity, teaching and showing them the Gospel, helping them to grow spiritually as he does so himself. The other is leading the worship team and will be a member of V-Team for InterVarsity (or C-Team for those not privileged to be apart of IV at CNU). I can not put into words how incredibly proud I am of them. I am at awe at the work of the Lord that is being done through these two men and their willingness to pursue relationships that model that of our Savior’s.
I challenge you to do the same as we celebrate this Lent season. Love others, live life with others, and point others to Christ.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (I John 4:7-14)
-A Proud Pilgrim