Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

10/24/2016 9:12 PM

Close Companions

10/24/2016 9:12 PM
10/24/2016 9:12 PM

Close Companions

 Jesus left with his disciples and went to the lake. (Mark 3:7, CEB)

Just last week, a group of pastors I have been meeting with for 15 years now made our annual trek to the Texas Hill Country. We all look forward to this week together, and we absolutely do not miss it, no exceptions. During the week, we spend a great deal of time sharing about what has happened through the year in our churches and our families and our lives. We discuss the set of books that we agreed to read together. We talk about what we feel like we are doing well alongside the mistakes we have made. In a sense, each of us spends some time under the microscope of the rest of the group. It is part think tank, part performance review, and part therapy. One of my favorite things, though, about this group is that we laugh, a lot. We cut up and let our hair down and act a fool. At some point every year someone inevitably makes the comment that they have not laughed this hard in a good while. It is a place and a time of complete safety and trust and love. I don’t know where I would be without them. Through them, God refreshes my life and my soul.

Jesus had such a group. We often, and perhaps wrongly, picture the disciples as a group of serious people only focused on the mission Jesus called them to. I think a more accurate picture is to see them as the close companions they really were, a group that laughed hard and took God seriously and trusted one another with the whole of their lives, a group that could share absolutely anything without worry. We should see them that way and realize we need a group like that too if we are to faithfully get through this life unscathed.

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