Hi everyone. Rob here.
On Friday night myself and some of the men of my church gathered around a fire, ate home-made pizzas, drank a beer or juice and talked with each other. On Sunday our church service finished remarkably early (no, it really did!) and instead of racing home people stayed and chatted for a while. On both occasions I had a real sense of being part of something sacred. Then I read this from Richard Rohr:
The template of all reality is Trinity: ‘Let us create (humanity) in our own image,’ the creation story says (Genesis 1:26). God is essentially shared life, life in relationship. In the beginning is relationship, we might say. Within the Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit perfectly love and are perfectly loved. We come to know who God is through exchanges of mutual knowing and loving.
If it wasn’t for community we wouldn’t know God, at least not anywhere near as much as he wants to be known. We are made in God’s image and God’s image is relational. We don’t just enjoy each other but we need each other to learn and to grow into God’s image and into his likeness. We all bring more of God into each other’s lives and that comes through when we ditch the agendas and just sit with each other and share our stories.
In these times of busyness, multi-media stimulation and noise, noise, noise it is tempting to shut ourselves away from people when we get the chance. But – and I’m speaking as an introvert here – what we often need to do instead is make space for people, expecting God to reveal himself through them. We also need to give ourselves enough time to push through the small talk and get to story-telling. There was a reason Jesus told parables and that’s because we learn through story. So we need to get to know ours and learn to listen well to others.
When we get to know our life as a story that God is writing, redeeming and shaping we become much more interested in others stories. We learn to ask key questions that open people up. We can hear the crucial moments and really go after others hearts. We also learn more about ourselves and think more deeply about what has shaped us. So are you connected to a community that shares stories with each other? Do you make space for others even after a busy week? Who are you learning from right now? Do you need to have a beer with a friend or take a walk with someone close to you? We are wired for connection, created for relationships and God, the glorious Trinity, loves to reveal himself in them.
May your relating and relationships be blessed with life, love and grace this week.