Day 35: We’re Called to Serve Together – By Cooperating With Each Other

Point to Ponder: We are better together
Verse to Remember: “We work together as partners who belong to God.” — I Corinthians 3:9a (NLT)
Question to Consider: How do your gifts and abilities complement the others in your group?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 35 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community about what it means to complete each other — and even God!

[Note: I’m a day behind due to the retreat, but since this is the last week I won’t worry about it. Grace!]

It is a paradox of our faith that we find our unique and specific purpose in life only after we yield our individualism for the good of many… in the safety of that community, our true value as individuals will emerge.

That sentence from today’s devotional captures what may be the most important lesson I’ve learned over the last couple months: the idea of completeness. We’re often taught the danger of thinking another person will complete us — which is a real danger! — but the usual inference is that we instead need to be self-sufficient. Balderdash! Rather, it is that we find completeness in connecting with all other people, and God; the danger is thinking that any one person is sufficient to complete us.

The even more shocking corollary is that God needs us to complete Himself:

God’s plan is for us to partner with him and partner with each other to fulfill his purposes.

I realize this may sound heretical, but please, hear me out. The idea is that when God created the heavens and the earth, He brought forth a world where His will was not done perfectly. Rather, it requires our active and willing participation to fulfill His desires. He can not experience total completeness — complete fulfillment of His purpose — without us!

This also answers my friend John McClements’ question about what it means to be a friend of God. Just like our friendships complete us — most graphically seen in marriage — so we too can help complete God. Which, if you think about it, is a (if not the) major justification for prayer.

Which probably means it is a good time to pray.

Prayer: O Father, I long to see your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. But, I can only do that if I embrace my brothers and sisters, and seek to find Your completeness with and through them. Forgive me for the sin of isolationism, and the pride of relying on my own feeble vision of you. Help me to embrace all who love you and know you, that their vision of you might supplement mine, like forming one giant hologram from many shards. Grant me the humility to listen and learn from others, and a sacrificial heart that I may experience you as I serve together with (and for) others. I ask all this in the name of Jesus, who came to have fellowship with us that we may be completed, Amen.