“By calling this covenant ‘new’, he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13)
This weekend we celebrate the new covenant promised through the prophet Jeremiah, and fulfilled through Jesus Christ. It has been difficult slowing time down this week so I could reflect on what God interrupting history to reclaim His people is all about. It amazes me what messages and moments hit you when ask God to show you His message afresh…
So this morning I tried watching a documentary which had been suggested to me a while back. It was based on conversations with people who have left the traditional evangelical church. Being that it was focused on the church here in Canada, having a more local feel to it, I thought it might be refreshing. Most material on the subject tends to come from larger metropolitan areas or the US.
Then I recognized one of the participants.
I couldn’t finish it.
Maybe it was because everything was too close to home, hearing these people talk about connections that were not in a distant land. They were here. They all grew up with faith based in a Christian church. They all chose to leave church. Not their faith, but their church. Knowing part of a person’s story sure made the overall message difficult to swallow.
Cynicism. Anger. Condescension. Judgement. A misunderstood God. Do-it-yourself constructed Christianity.
It was a part of every interview.
Is this what Jesus had in mind when He brought those closest to Him – those He did not necessarily get along with swimmingly – broke bread and stated those now famous words, “A new command I give you: Love one another.“? (John 13:34) Think on this, He had plenty to say about the world around Him up to this point, and the world His disciples would continue to encounter after the Easter weekend. But during the Passion week, He talked about what it meant to be together in His name.
Jesus washed the feet of the people who would scatter when He needed them most, ate with people who were not completely convinced of His message, and then told them to love each other so people would know they were His followers.
This is why I gather, and teach others to gather as church. Even when I disagree with others, I cannot make my relationship with Jesus about myself alone. Jesus spending time with His disciples before His most excruciating moments tells me otherwise.
This Holy Thursday is my reminder that Jesus wants me to love those who love Him, so they can do all that He has commanded.