Moving, Thunderstorms, Chikungunya and a Recipe for Pumpkin Cake

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Initially, this post started out as a well manicured little note on community. I had lofty ideas on writing about the Israelites as a community during their time in the wilderness and how we can apply some life lessons learnt from them. But then I was struck by the infamous Chikungunya virus that’s going around in Delhi this season and all my lofty ideas flew out of the window. That coupled with shifting during a thunderstorm, mothering three littles and trying to be a pastor’s wife completely drained me of any little ability I had to think, research and write. So this post gives you a little peek into my vulnerable heart – my aches and rants, my joys and of course, the recipe for some scrumptious pumpkin cake.

August started off so well. I was training along with my daughter for the September Pinkathon (an all women’s run). We had a few houses short listed for our move and we had everything planned and going as per schedule. But during the early part of August I came down with Chikungunya, a virus which not only causes the usual fever and such, but also causes extreme joint pain as an aftermath. While we trusted God through that phase we realised that we were going to have to trust Him a lot more. I had no idea that the killer joint pain would be constant, crippling and paralysing, not allowing me to be of any use during our big move.

That is when God decided to step in, in a God awesome way…he sent us help from our community! Friends from our church and bible study group came and helped us with packing. My brother and his family came in from Chennai so I would have all the help I needed not just with packing but the kids, setting up the new place and everything.

The day of the move itself was a nightmare – we shifted during a thunderstorm! We had moved all the cardboard cartons to the car park waiting for the truck which was delayed by two hours. During this time the car park flooded leaving our boxes a soggy mess. By the time the guys could move the boxes to a higher ground, our apartment on the third floor flooded, soaking our mattresses and clothes. We had a plague of cockroaches getting into our boxes and bags all of a sudden. Oh boy! It was downhill after that. But then again God sent help and provided for us. He even helped us smile through the chaos.

I realised that God always comes through to help when we call on him. He shows it to us through tangible ways, like friends from our community. God places us in certain communities for a certain reason. He uses us to be his hands and feet. Sometimes we have the ability to help and sometimes he puts us on the receiving end, but it is all cushioned within the community. He did not create us to live alone. The Trinity sets the precedent for us. I have been thinking on all these things while massaging my aching joints. I know for sure that I am extremely grateful this month for the community that I live in. The community which made this time bearable. The community  which helped, fed, washed, and laughed with us.

So if you are new to a place, find a community or small group and plug in, because that’s the best part of being in God’s family.

And now for that cake recipe which I promised.

Delhi is just starting to get a little cooler and the nice orange pumpkins are starting to come out on the vegetable carts. I decided that after the strenuous move a little comfort food was in order, so pumpkin cake it was. I baked it for my son’s birthday as well and dressed it up with some cinnamon cream cheese frosting and had everyone in church scrambling for more!

Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Ingredients

Maida or all purpose flour – 1 3/4 cup
Freshly cooked and puréed pumpkin – 1 cup
Eggs – 2
Powdered sugar – 1 cup
Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder –  1 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp

Method

In a pressure cooker, cook 1/2 kg (1 lb) of pumpkin with enough water so that the pumpkin is completely covered in it. You can cut it into large chunks with the skin on it. I let it cook for 3 whistles, which is about 10 minutes on medium flame. Once the pumpkin cools down, scoop it out of the skin and put it in a blender/mixie, do not add any water to this. Blend till it is completely puréed. This should make about one cup.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Whisk together all the wet ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the dry mixture a little at a time to the wet ingredients and mix by hand ( I have found that it affects the softness of the cake if I use an electric mixer).

Once the cake is completely mixed, grease the cake pan and pour in the batter until the pan is 1/2 full.

Bake at 180 C (350 F) for 20 – 30 minutes depending on your oven, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.

This is quite a versatile recipe and can be used  for muffins or bread as well.

Enjoy it for breakfast or evening tea or dress it up with some frosting and enjoy it for dessert!

 

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Lessons from Community

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I am an avid follower of social media and have many friends across the world. Many I know personally. A few I’ve never met, but they are friends, none-the-less. I don’t know how, but it works in today’s age. Facebook has redefined the meaning of community to us.

This has impacted our way of thinking about the community that we live in. We can live in a community and yet can isolate ourselves from it. But this passage gives me a sense of joy and celebration.

Act 2:46-47 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”.

And as much as community can be messy, it also energises me. It is the real celebration of who we are in Christ.

Every time I see things going wrong in our community, every cell in my body wants to fix it, but I know that’s not my role. Even though I live in a young, vibrant and Gospel-centered community, when troubles arise, it takes time for God to work things out. I have been doing life with this community for the past three years with a mixture of  both highs and lows.

Once my friend asked how I managed work, a church plant, and a young family? My answer was very simple. My church community is God’s grace to help me persevere in my calling in every season of my life. Our community helps in shaping our calling.

Philippians 2:4-7: “ Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of servant, being made in human likeness”.

Someone told me, Christians are like fertiliser. Fertiliser helps plants to grow stronger. As Christians we are called to nourish and encourage each other to walk with God in a deeper way. As I look back at my three years in this community, I have learnt many things that have helped me grow. I will never forget these three things God taught me through my many trials and mistakes:

  1. God shapes me through all that happens in my community through the process of discipleship.
  2. Community actually shows who I am (my strength, weakness, heart’s posture) and will bring out the best and worst in me.
  3. Finally, community without a purpose will die a slow death.

I also am free to live a vulnerable life alongside the people with whom God has placed me. The Gospel gives me that real freedom to be vulnerable because it tells me I am already accepted and affirmed by the Father. I don’t have to strive to be more loved, more affirmed or accepted in the community. The Gospel sets me free from striving to be someone I am not.

The Trinity is a community, complete and fulfilled in themselves. I am reminded how the first ever perfect community of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son and the Holy Spirit was once broken on that cross so that I could be included into the family of God. The community of people I live in is not perfect; neither am I. But imperfect me can live joyfully in an imperfect community in the hope that one day, I will inherit the perfect community where there are no heartbreaks, no misunderstandings, no tears, no sadness, and no shame.

 

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The One Criteria

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I was nervous that morning. It was our first Sunday service at our old church after being away for more than a year. So much had happened since we’d been gone, both in our lives and the church. I wondered if things had changed too much. If I had changed too much. Would we still have things in common? Most of these were random thoughts running through my mind as we got ready and left for church.

But as we entered the premises, saw the familiar faces, met and chatted with old friends and exchanged bits of news, I felt a peace steal over me; we were home and it was lovely to be back. Yet I knew that there was a subtle difference. It was like God was calling me deeper. He didn’t want me to settle down to living the same old life.

I’m grateful for my lovely friend who gave the message that morning. She spoke on Jeremiah 9:23 – 24 – the verse God gave me at the beginning of this year.

“Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving-kindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.”

God told me, then, that my greatest treasure will be knowing Him and that Sunday morning, He reaffirmed it. What made it more beautiful was the fact that as one family, one body of Christ, one Church, we were seeking God together. Not for any thing that He could give us, but to know Him more intimately.

As we took communion together, the familiar words – “Do this in remembrance of Me” took on a special significance. And it struck me that this is what “community” means – the common unity that binds us to each other is knowing the triune God. And all who seek to know God become a part of this community.

Such a community is not formed based on gender, age, income-level, language, race, doctrine, denomination or any other distinction. All are welcome and all can be a part of this community. That is how God sees us. And that is how we should see those around us. Instead of erecting more barriers to distinguish ourselves from the rest of mankind, we need to realise that in loving and seeking the only true God, we have the one criteria in common that truly matters in terms of eternity.

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Let Love be Genuine

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Paul’s exhortation to the church in Romans 12 paints a really lovely picture of what a community can be – cheerful, hospitable, encouraging. It brings to mind all the best experiences I’ve had with community, and what Paul says about members of the body being gifted differently couldn’t be truer, in my experience.

There are women God brought into my life explicitly to increase my daily dose of joy – you know, the kind of friend who is ultra-talented at making you laugh at the turn of a hat! How I admire their ability to take things in stride. I think this kind of joy demonstrates a deep ability to trust God.

Then there are friends whose generosity has astounded me. I’m so grateful for the beauty of selfless and cheerful giving, because there is little as powerful and convicting.

And I pray we all have friends who challenge us; women we can look to for wisdom, who will be the Nathan to our David in moments of weakness, and the Elizabeth to our Mary in times of distress. Giving us these friends, in my opinion, is one of God’s greatest demonstrations of His love for us.

I’ve basically just described my circle of friends as the female equivalent of the Fellowship of the Ring… which is pretty much what they are, minus the swords. They are a force to be reckoned with, and I’m grateful to know them.

Seriously though, Tolkien could not have been more accurate in his assessment of how community can help carry a burden. Nor could he have shown better the tendency of the human heart to want to carry that burden alone.

Despite constant demonstrations of how much community can help, I find myself attempting to deal with things on my own, first. Not that I necessarily refuse help, but even when sharing or being vulnerable with my community, I’m preoccupied with how I can present myself in the best possible light. How can I show what I’m already doing to deal with my problems, or how can I make sure they see that I’m ok?

Bear with the analogy a little longer: I, like Frodo, am deeply distrustful of the consequences of sharing my burden. Will it make me look weak? And can I truly depend on the people I’m sharing with to understand? What will they do with this information?

I recently discovered what seems to be the strongest cure for this distrust, and I think it’s one of the most powerful things Paul says in Romans 12:

 “Let love be genuine.”

When you realise your community has no intentions other than to genuinely love you, it can be the most disarming experience. Earlier this year, I found myself struggling to trust God through my circumstances. When I finally talked to friends about it, I didn’t realise how much I was expecting to hear certain things – that reading my Bible would help, to reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past, how I needed to pray with others – until I heard none of it.

It was all true, but my friends recognised that in that moment, I simply needed to mourn. And they mourned with me, genuinely feeling the loss I felt, never pushing me to do something about it. There was no room for insecurity, and I felt no need to explain myself. Whatever their own struggle may have been, they remained constant in loving me through mine, And gradually, it became clear that I would learn to trust God again.

My challenge has been to give as I’ve received, remembering that Paul’s charge to love genuinely is the best foundation for community. It puts everything else he says into perspective. I often get wrapped up in assessing my contribution to my community: Am I joyful? Giving? Wise? Which member of the Fellowship would I be? (Gimli, I hope.)

But these measurements seem irrelevant when I instead focus on loving people, truly and genuinely. Loving people as I am loved, by the One who created community to reflect Himself, is the best thing I can do. It’s also the only hope I have of seeing everything else Paul talks about in Romans 12:

“Outdo one another in showing honour… Seek to show hospitality… Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

I’ve watched as these things come so much more naturally in a community that genuinely loves each other. I don’t believe there’s a better place to grow than a community like that.

 

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A Tiring Performance

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It’s easy to get lost these days. We are so busy marketing ourselves to the world and to ourselves, I think we can forget who we are and what’s really going on inside. I find myself wearing all sorts of masks for the different roles I ‘play’ and I sometimes wonder if I ever take them off.

I’ve recently realised how much I perform. My identity is rooted in people’s perception of me. I want them to think highly of me and I am constantly defining myself by how well I am received. When I feel like people do not recognise my worth, I am an insecure mess; and when they are full of praise, I am way too confident for my own good.

The many masks we wear

Eldon Taylor in his article, Hiding From Others and From Ourselves says, “We come into the world equipped with honesty and innocence, and we openly express it until we are taught otherwise. At some point, we are told things about ourselves by others that we then begin to hide, sometimes so well we hide it from ourselves.”

Shame is usually what causes us to hide and be in denial of reality. It’s difficult to talk about your past hurts, your struggles in your marriage, or your selfish mistakes when you want people to think well of you. You want them to think that you’re happy, funny, that you’ve got it together, or even that your husband is madly in love with you because you are so perfect.

I remember sharing some of my struggles with my mentor the other day. After our talk, one of my friends asked if I felt better; and the truth was, I really didn’t feel better. Not immediately anyway. What did happen was that I became even more aware of my brokenness. Everything I was in denial of had been brought into the light. It was uncomfortable and slightly unnerving.

Unmasking in a safe community

Now when I look back, I can see how God has been able to do something new in my life because of this step. Since then, my mentor has extended grace to me, empathised with me and shared her own struggles too. This is why I need community. It is here that I am able to come face to face with myself and realise that there really is no need to perform.

My husband, Akshay, and I are constantly grateful for the community that God is building around us. We’re a broken, messed up bunch of people who are learning to be vulnerable with each other.

In his book Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning calls our fake, performing self “the impostor”. He says,

“As we come to grips with our own selfishness and stupidity, we make friends with the impostor and accept that we are impoverished and broken and realise that, if we were not, we would be God. The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others — and is a natural prerequisite for our presence to God in prayer.”

Only when I am real about my brokenness can I come to a place of needing God and needing people. Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly and a researcher on shame, says, “It’s hard to practice compassion when we’re struggling with our authenticity or when our own worthiness is off-balance.”

True compassion comes with brokenness

Being aware of how messed up I am enables me to genuinely be compassionate towards others. It isn’t  about how I am received by people, but about how I receive them. It isn’t about how much affirmation I have received. Instead, I begin to see people and celebrate their worth.

Being aware of my brokenness can be difficult, but it looks like it’s an essential step. Jesus was broken, so I can be redeemed from my brokenness. He was vulnerable to the point of shame, so I can be rescued from shame and have the courage to be vulnerable. He left His community so that I could become a part of it—not through any performance of my own, but because of what He graciously did for me. He was rejected by His Father, so I can be a daughter of the Most High. I don’t need to perform to receive His approval. He calls me worthy and that’s why I am.

 

 

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Single in the City: Alone yet not alone

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“So, when are you getting married?”

“Umm, I don’t know…”

 “What do you mean, ‘I don’t know’? You have to think about these things seriously.”

“I think I’m fine with not getting married as well…”

 “Don’t say that. Then who will hold your hand and take care of you when you get older?”

This is just a sample of the many conversations I’ve had about my single status. While there have been moments where they have caused hurt and serious questioning of my identity and worth, over the years I’ve learnt to accept it as a part of my culture that I can’t escape and tried to read the genuine concern between the lines.

But inevitably, all those frustrating conversations ended with a lingering fear thrust on me, that unless I did something to change the situation, I would end up alone. (What that “doing something” often involved is a cringe-worthy saga that deserves a post of its own!) Being unmarried, they seemed to say, equals being alone, lonely, somewhat skewed and incomplete.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that it’s only other people who usher in this fear of being alone. My own thoughts of the possibility of loneliness being a constant companion, not being able to share life with someone, not having someone to look after me when I’m old, not giving birth to someone who will look after me (because yes, that’s the only reason why people have children) – not having a family – well, it all has the potential of throwing up some internal angst.

But when I come to the Bible, what confronts me is something counter-cultural. And it runs counter not just to my culture, but also to everything I think I know about where to place my hopes for fulfilment, both in terms of inner identity and outer intimacy.

The New Testament is littered with verses identifying the church as a family. The gospel ushers me into a new community – the family of God. Responding to his biological family who were seeking for him, Jesus pointed at those who sat by him enthralled by his teaching: “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother, sister and mother.” Mark 4: 34-35.

The early church behaved like a family, sharing their possessions, meeting needs as they arose, eating together, praying together, learning together and worshipping together. In Christ, we are adopted into God’s family (Eph. 1:5) and we are co-heirs with him (Rom. 8:17). The church is referred to as the household of God (1 Tim. 3:14) and Paul urges Timothy to consider older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older woman as mothers and younger women as sisters (1 Tim. 5:1). The numerous ‘one another’ commands relate to building deep sacrificial relationships within this family – love one another, forgive one another, bear with one another, accept one other and so on.

This new family, this new community, provides an antidote to loneliness for both the single and the married person, because the relational intimacy found here has the potential to match and even supersede the closest physical intimacy between a man and a woman. This community is the place where I can reveal myself, be vulnerable about my brokenness, confess my sins to others, find healing, be a recipient of grace. It is a place where no one is put together or perfect and all are in need of the grace so richly poured out on us.

This community is the place where I am reminded that my identity is rooted in who I am in Christ, that I am complete in Christ (Jerry Maguire has no authority here!). I forget this all the time, not just when I am reminded of or worried about my single status, but when I rush to look for affirmation in so many other places. When that sense of shame creeps in, there is always one I can turn to: Jesus, the only complete perfect human being – who lived on earth as, like me, a single person.

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul actually elevates singleness higher than marriage; not because it guarantees an independent, self-serving life but because it provides for single-minded devotion and service to God. Theologian Stanley Hauerwas writes this about singleness and marriage:

“Singleness is the one practice of the Church that most profoundly shows that it has accepted and wishes to participate in the hope that God secured through Christ’s cross, resurrection and ascension. Singleness embodies the hope that God’s kingdom has come, is present and is still to come… That singleness is the first way of life for Christians does not imply that marriage and the having of children is in any way a less worthy way to be a Christian. Quite the opposite. The fact that marriage is for Christians a vocation rather than a requirement gives it a new dignity. For the Christian, marriage cannot and must not be seen as a necessary means for self-fulfilment. Christians are not called to marriage for fulfilment but for the upbuilding of that community called church… Ultimately, there is…only one good reason to get married or to stay single, namely, that this has something to do with our discipleship.” 

Whatever our situation, whatever leap into maturity or character building we need to make in our discipleship, the bottom line is that our security and worth lies in our identity in Christ. The fear of loneliness is diminished by the intimacy we find in our relationships in the family of Christ. This is true for the person who is single – by choice or circumstance, for a season or for a lifetime – and also for the person who is married. This is the kind of community we need to create in our churches. I need to work towards being this kind of community for others.

“The church is composed of the single and the married. Both are called to a life of faithfulness.
All are called to be friends, defying the loneliness that threatens anyone…”
Stanley Hauerwas

 

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Stepping Out to Build

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Akka, can I tell you a joke?” she asks, pulling out a neatly-folded newspaper from her backpack.

“Okay, sure,” I respond.

“What do you call security guards outside a Samsung store?” she continues eagerly.

“Hmm… I don’t know. What?”

“Guardians of the Galaxy!” comes her answer.

Lavanya, all of 10 years old, with bright eyes and a pixie haircut that perfectly fits her slight frame, continues to read from the newspaper. It’s time for another joke.

Jokes that she doesn’t always get. Lavanya is one of 23 girls at an orphanage in Bangalore. She lives in a two-bedroom house with chirpy posters and plastic chairs, a couple of old cupboards and shelves weighed down by 23 heavy backpacks. She’s probably never seen a Samsung Galaxy S6. She’s probably never heard of Star Wars. But whether she gets the joke or not, Lavanya is keen to share a few laughs with me.

Lavanya and I have been working on her Science lessons, as part of a volunteer programme that benefits underprivileged children. We decide to take a 10-minute breather between the sections on sedimentary rocks and the igneous kind. (Remember those? I didn’t either!) I sneak her some M&Ms and she entertains me with the funnies from her backpack.

I try to steer her back to her Science lesson. But she’s not quite done with the jokes and riddles.

Because on Tuesday afternoons, I am Lavanya’s community. Our two hours together may technically be about Science, but in fact, it’s so much more. It’s about building a relationship as little sister and akka (big sister), it’s helping her gain confidence, it’s helping grow her world and understanding – and it’s helping grow mine too.

Most often, we look for community that’s exactly like us. You may have heard the acronym WASP or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, the somewhat humourous term used to describe the privileged sections of America. Maybe, we need specialised terms for the Christian community in India too. Perhaps, BESC for Brown English-Speaking Churchgoers.

We tend to gravitate toward people similar to us. And that’s perfectly fine.

But what if instead of always seeking community that’s wired like us, we choose to be someone else’s community? What if we step out of the BESC zone to include those who may not know of Star Wars or have access to a Samsung Galaxy?

We may go in with a “there’s nothing in it for me” feeling. But as clichéd as it sounds, I honestly get so much more than I give.

Because on Tuesday afternoons, Lavanya is my community.

She doesn’t know it, but spending time with her broadens my perspective in ways my regular “social circle” couldn’t. She doesn’t complain that she has to share a two-bedroom house with a bunch of kids (and the world’s largest mosquitoes). She doesn’t whine about her homework and exam prep. (In fact, on our first day of tutoring, when I ask her if she wants a break, she goes: “No akka. Keep going.”). She finds joy in the little things: the four M&Ms she “won” for focussing, the jokes in the newspaper, her joy in sharing them with me, her favourite cream buns she gets as a treat on occasion. I may be helping strengthen Lavanya’s community – but she is unknowingly opening my world too.

Community is not always about finding your kind of peeps. It’s also about including those unlike you. It’s building someone else’s world. And letting them build yours.

I don’t know if God is urging you to step out. But if He is, He will also provide the resources to go with the calling. He’ll enable you to overcome fears and failures. He’ll give you the strength to take on that one more commitment. He doesn’t need our diplomas and doctorates. He just needs us to be at His disposal. In God’s economy, availability trumps ability every single time.

And who knows what blessings lie ahead? I, for one, will never look at another Samsung phone again without a smile on my face and a cool joke in my arsenal.

 

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The Gift of Living Together

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“Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1)

Marriage and change go together, somewhat like fries and ketchup; you just can’t have one without the other. After getting married, I moved from Delhi to Goa; big change. Apart from the fact that even dry and crispy leaves fly in slow motion across the road, the biggest change was adjusting to life without the comfort of familiar people. Standing in church every Sunday, I’d miss the church I’d left behind. Living around new people who spoke a different language, I’d long to effortlessly converse with my friends. I missed my community.

Things began to change when I picked up the book Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I’d read the book while in seminary and mostly forgotten what it was about. While talking about the value of Christian fellowship, Bonhoeffer writes:

It is true, of course, that what is an unspeakable gift of God for the lonely individual is easily disregarded and trodden underfoot by those who have the gift every day. It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us, that the time that still separates us from utter loneliness may be brief indeed. Therefore, let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren. (p. 20)

Thank God on his knees! Bonhoeffer may have been talking about me when he referred to people who disregard the value of Christian fellowship. I had failed to notice my false sense of entitlement to a community shaped exactly per my demands. The thought of fellow Christians longing to worship God in community had not crossed my mind. Instead, here I was sulking because things weren’t exactly to my liking. If only I could change… then I could be thankful for my new church.

However, the very fact that we have a community with whom we can worship God in unity is a privilege. Our unity does not stem from speaking the same language or being from a similar economic class, but through Jesus Christ. This unity is going to endure; we are going to be spending eternity together!

Finding fault with people around us comes naturally to us; be it family, friends, or colleagues. Often, our liking for people increases when we are away from them and recognise the value their presence added to our lives. Wouldn’t it be tragic if we always had to move away from people before we appreciated them? Instead, we can choose to be grateful to God for the people He has currently placed in our lives. Once we are able to freely accept people, it becomes easy to build relationships with them.

Today, I have friends in my neighbourhood because I finally made the effort to get to know the women living around me. I am consciously thankful to God for giving me the privilege of worshipping Him with others, and have quit Mission Change-People-To-My-Liking. Unsurprisingly, my relationships with people at church are improving too.

Maybe you find yourself in a new community quite unlike what you’ve been used to. Missing what you’ve left behind is normal, but don’t forget to thank God for where He has placed you.

 

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