‘“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Dear church family,
Two weeks ago, 40 of us gathered on a Saturday for our “Fall Gathering” to consider together the reality that we, Christ’s Body, were “made for relationships.” In the first talk, we considered the very personal reality that, as members of Christ’s Body, we have been redeemed from our broken relationships with God, each other, and ourselves. Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves – paid the penalty for our failure to depend on a loving God. He did this by giving His life up for us, allowing us by faith through repentance to enjoy a restored relationship with God and each other. This beautiful reality (the Gospel) is the foundation of our lives, and it was wonderful to have space to sit and reflect on this reality — together.
Because our Creator God is also our Redeemer, we are called and compelled to move toward others in relationship. In the second talk, we considered how love for God compels us to love each other. We talked specifically about how to pursue new relationships through the process of getting to know someone, deepening relationship, and connecting the new friend to others in church community.
We concluded our program with a large group discussion on the various challenges related to “starting a relationship.” We discussed the various challenges related to welcoming others at Emmanuel – challenges related to stages of life, social anxiety, difficulty knowing how to ask meaningful questions, and fatigue related to saying goodbye to so many friends in community with us over the years in transient New York City. This large group discussion served as an excellent primer for continued conversation about Christ-centered relationships this year.
It was wonderful to be with all of you who were able to attend.
With the love of Christ,