The Then and The Now

I recently read something. It was a Christian article. I found it rather disturbing. There was some truth to what it was saying but I found it cold and void of love. It was even more disturbing to me because it is an area I have struggled within my faith. The article had to do with suffering. Similar it addressed the issue of how to deal with suffering in others. The fact that even though we may want to alleviate the hardship in others we often cannot. It addressed the important concept that God often brings about his goodness and will though our hardships and suffering. He sacrificed his beloved, cherished, sinless son on the cross. We often find ourselves facing similar hardship and challenges.

I absolutely agree with the article. We often wish we could change the cup someone else is baring. We wish we could give them a different cup. But that is not in our ability. Only God can change the cup someone bares. We can take it to God in prayer. This concept is not what I disagreed with. The concept I disagreed with is that Jesus established a new covenant. He is at work through us his believers through the power of the Holy Spirit. We may not be able to give someone else a different cup. But we should be Christ for others. We should be laying down our lives for others. God commands a husband to do so for their wives. Mothers do this for their children. For the widow and orphan the church should be doing so. For the abused, neglected and exhausted we should be Christ for them. It is not just their cup to bare. It is all of Christ body to bare.

We as Christians should be acting as Christ for others. The load of that burden should fall on all of Christ body. For it is a cup we all bare in unison. When the body of Christ moves and works how God intended the burden of a heavy load is shared among all. The burden of hardship is shared among all. The burden of suffering is shared among all. We are not supposed to be a single person carrying a cross like Jesus did. We are supposed to all in unison be carrying that cross.

I was saddened by the article because I left feeling like a single individual baring the weight of a heavy cross with no hope of my suffering to be alleviated other than my death. This is not what Jesus came to establish. Jesus did do this himself for all humanity but he established the church so that we would all do this together in unison. Our hope of the cup being removed is often found when we meet our father in heaven. But there is also very real hope here and now. That hope is often found in the body of Christ coming and helping each other carry heavy cups and sharing their cup with you.

Why can we not take communion by ourselves? We cannot take the blood of Jesus without someone to provide the cup. We cannot take the bread representing Christ body broken for us without someone to hand us the bread. We as Christians often experiences desperate times, hardships and suffering. We have hope of eternity apart from those things. But we also should find relief, aid, renewal and life in the here now. That relief, aid, renewal and life should be found in Christ body coming together as one and sharing the burdens and hardships. No child of God should be in isolation. No child of God should bare heavy burdens by themselves. For Jesus is alive. He is alive through us his followers. He did not just die on the cross. He resurrected 3 days later. He ascended into heaven. He promised his spirit would dwell among us being poured out on all mankind. He is alive. He is present.For Jesus saidFor where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” We often experience long suffering. It is a part of life. But there are many ways to help alleviate long suffering. There are an infinite amount of ways we can help to bare someone else cross. Instead of turning a blind eye we should take it to God in prayer and ask how we can help alleviate the burden of our fellow brother and sisters in Christ.

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