Love one another deeply from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22b)
Traced back to their roots the words radical and community mean: To fortify, strengthen, or defend together to the root.
(radix – to the root; munis – to fortify, strengthen, or defend; com – with, together)
To strengthen together to the root is the lifeblood of what it means to love one another deeply from the heart.
The Greek word for one another, allelon, occurs 100 times in the New Testament. As “members of one another: Romans 12:5, Ephesians 4:25, we were created for relationship – first with God then with each other. Community is foundational to who we are. As the Body of Christ on earth, we are called to love and serve one another, to sacrificially put each other’s needs ahead of our own.
CREATED FOR COMMUNITY
We were created in and for community, and are called to community by the One who is community Himself – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Throughout the pages of Scripture, God powerfully, purposefully weaves the stories of His people’s lives together:
• Moses and Aaron
• Joshua and Caleb
• David and Jonathan
• Naomi and Ruth
• Esther and Mordecai
• Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
• Elijah and Elisha
• Mary and Martha
• Paul and Timothy
DISCOVER THE CULTIVATING WORK OF PRAYER
Community is where we discover the cultivating work of prayer.
“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
“Prayer is an intimate act, and draws people close to each other. We overcome and work out many things when we pray together.” Jessica Archuleta
SOW SEEDS OF PATIENCE, KINDNESS, COMPASSION, AND GENEROSITY
Community is where we sow seeds of patience, kindness, compassion, and generosity.
“Compassion is the gate to human community.” (John D. Chittister)
“Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
NURTURE AUTHENTICITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND FORGIVENESS
Community is where we nurture with authenticity, accountability, and forgiveness.
“The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
WEED OUT SELFISHNESS AND SIN
Community is where we weed out selfishness and sin.
“The biblical ideal of community challenges us to commit ourselves to life together as the people of God … two or more people who make a deliberate choice not only to ‘accept Christ’ but also to accept one another … with our flaws, our weaknesses, our strange tendencies. It is that commitment to each other that brings community!” Bob Millsaps
HARVEST ABUNDANT LOVE
Community is where we harvest abundant love.
“The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.” (Mother Teresa)
“Community is where humility and glory touch.” (Henri Nouwen)
Radical community is built on love, steeped in prayer, grown in devotion, and overflows with compassion, patience, kindness, forgiveness, and grace upon grace upon grace.
How to Love One Another Deeply from the Heart
- Lord, make us instruments of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.” St. Francis of Assisi
- “Are you willing to get ‘dirty’ for the sake of serving your brothers and sisters? Are you willing to walk with them through a really difficult time? Are you willing to serve them when it costs? When it hurts? When it’s messy?” Steven Van Denend
- “To love like Jesus requires … Jesus. We need the love of Jesus filling us up … We love because He first loved us. Loving is a response to being loved.” Steve Van Denend
- “What Paul is talking about here is knowing each other’s flaws, but loving each other anyway…an apologizing love, a forgiving love. An honest and challenging love, a unifying love, an enduring love…” Sandra Peoples
- “We honor one another when we: respect every human being as an image bearer of God; …celebrate one another’s unique gifts, personality and calling; …recognize the true value of each person’s contributions and speak it to them and to others…” Joseph Mattera
- “Paul … simply says, ‘Live in harmony with one another.’… All of you, with all your differences and beautiful uniqueness’s and individuality, live in harmony with one another.” Sam Hestorff
- “Try to understand people and their circumstances before saying anything. Be open to the idea that your perspective doesn’t show you the entire picture. Seek understanding from the person and from the Holy Spirit.” Alex Tran
- “It is the genius of God’s design that through diversity He creates unity/oneness in the Body of Christ. No matter how ‘different’ each of us may be, in and through Jesus Christ we have been made one in the Body and have been ‘accepted’ by God.” Gordie Hanna
- “May God show you ways in which you may humbly and diligently instruct others, for His glory, your joy, and the benefit of other believers.” Brian Cosby
- “Greeting each other – far from being trivial – becomes a matter of following Jesus…The Greek word for greet carries the ideas of welcoming, accepting, embracing – all part of showing love to one another.” sharedchurch.com
- “Why wait? Because each member matters to Jesus Christ, each member should matter to each of us … Every member should be valued … And this provides all the motivation we need to ‘wait for one another.’” Doug Van Meter
- “May we live in the beauty of a community where everybody belongs, and everyone has the opportunity to contribute their God-given gifts in serving one another.” D. Neil Cudney
- “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service.” Billy Graham
- “Think of those who are suffering in your community. How can you reach out to help them hold their hands high in the midst of pain?” Nicole Kauffman
- “Bearing with one another in love means that … believers need to be able to bump up against very different sorts of people, equally committed to the faith, whose differences are to be borne in love.” Stephen Fowl
- “Being kind is … considerate, gracious, and generous. It is loving others in spite of how they have treated you…going the extra mile…demonstrating a generosity of spirit … quick to help others.” redemptionstouch.com
- “In intentional community forgiveness is not a program we pull off the shelf when necessary, but a way of living. We have to learn how to forgive and ask for forgiveness as often as we breathe.“ Lindsey Long
- “The closer you get to the truth the clearer the beauty, and the more you will find worship willing up within you. That’s why theology and worship belong together.” N.T. Wright
- “It is both stooping to meet needs and accepting help … using our gifts … and bowing to the better gifts of others… The cycle of self-sacrifice and service in Biblical community points the world toward Christ.” Daniel Darling
- “The point is what you count others to be … Will you count them as worthy of your help and encouragement? Not are they worthy? But will you count them as worthy?” John Piper
- “Be truthful in your relationship with God and in your relationships with God’s people, because we are new creatures in Christ and we’re members of the same body.” Steven J. Cole
- “Your personal study of God’s Word is not just to fill your head with knowledge; but that you may come to know Christ in a deeper and more intimate way, so that you might share the things that you have discovered with other.” Wayne Hoag
- “We are to encourage one another along the journey of being transformed by God and only admonish others when it helps them walk in greater wisdom.” Hal Warren
- “May we be reminded that when we feel lonely or do not have enough energy or love to give out to others, we can always turn to God as the ultimate source. God is the ever-flowing stream, the bottomless well, the never-ending faucet of love, because God is Love.” Jason Haldeman
- “[Encouragement] translated from the Greek in Scripture literally means ‘called to the side of’…With our words…affirms and builds others up. With our actions, we journey with…With our souls, we pray…With our hearts, we empathize…” Dr. Karen Wilk
- “Whatever issues we face, knowing we are not alone helps us cope…our presence can encourage (comfort) others through hardship with compassion, hope, and thoughtfulness.” Jamie Trunnel
- “To spur one another toward love and good deeds, or to encourage someone can have a big impact in their life…we don’t realize what a huge difference some small bit of encouragement can make in someone’s life.” JoDitt Williams
- “Slander can wear a hundred masks…The net effect of all forms…is to unjustly devalue another person’s reputation…we are stewards of the treasure of each other’s good names…Let us…speak the truth in love.” Jon Bloom
- “Grumbling, whining, and thanklessness are not ultimately the heart’s responses to circumstances, but to God…Thankfulness and grumbling – regardless of your situation, even your suffering – reflect your heart.” Steven Lee
- “Humility, produced by faith-driven confession of our sins, clears the eyes of our soul so that we might see God more clearly. Through confession, God applies the Gospel of grace afresh to our hearts and awakens our awareness of our need for Him.” Garrett Kell
- “Jesus never intended for us to live the Christian life alone … God tells us to lift one another up. We need one another to get through this life. To get through afflictions. To get through temptation.” Mark Altrogge
- Hospitality is “about caring for one another enough that we are willing to sacrifice deeply on the other’s behalf…caring for the injustice in others’ lives…putting love into action and demonstrating in meaningful ways that God has not forgotten about any of [His] children.” Church for All People
- “Humility liberates love, and love rushes across the opening that humility has provided…Humility and agape love are both about one central issue: the importance of persons.” Robert C. Roberts
33 Biblical "One Anothers"
Pray through these 33 One Another Verses, meditating on what it means to “love one another deeply from the heart” as we learn to selflessly walk each other home.
How to Use the 33 Biblical “One Anothers”
- Invite a friend or family member to do 33-Day devotional or journaling exercise with you. Each day, share one image with each other. Read the Bible verse in context. Talk about it. Think about it. Write about it. Pray through it.
- Share an image a day for 33 days on social media.
- Use the images as a 33-day prayer prompt. Pray for those in your unique community – neighbors, friends, co-workers, healthcare professionals, mail carrier, food store and pharmacy workers, first responders, government officials, etc.
- Study the Biblical “One Anothers” with a small group either in-person or on-line.
- Download the images and share with your church family.
- Write about your experience with the 33 Biblical “One Anothers”. What did you learn? How did you grow? What surprised you? Where did you see God at work? How was your understanding of community strengthened or changed?
I think that these [33 Biblical “One Anothers”] are our daily marching orders especially in today’s climate of unrest. Imagine if everyone obeyed the Lord by following these directives toward each other? Barbara C.
Creative Ways to Use Chronic Joy Posts & Publications
Talking about the impact of chronic illness, mental illness, chronic pain, and disability on our lives can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes we’re not sure what we think or how we feel, either for ourselves or for our friends or loved ones.
Creative Ways to Serve
Chronic illness can make serving in traditional or culturally familiar ways challenging – but not impossible. Discover creative new ways to love God and others right where you are, however you are able.
Ask Generous Questions
Lean into the living presence of Jesus and cultivate a deeper relationship with one another. When we slow down and really listen to each other, we grow together as the Body of Christ on earth.
Ministry of Reconciliation
Reconciliation is the process of restoring broken relationships, of building something new from the tender soil of forgiveness.
Building Your Bucket List
A bucket list is an invitation to dream with God. Ideas don’t have to be grand or extravagant. Sometimes the best adventures happen right in our own backyards. It’s also an opportunity to invite friends and loved ones to have rich conversations about their dreams.
The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ alone, the more serenity shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it.
Together, we are learning to live a life of celebration amid this unexpected journey through chronic illness, mental illness, chronic pain, and disability.
In kintsugi, the bowl’s brokenness becomes its beauty. Like this art form, God restores our brokenness through the crimson blood of Jesus.
Lean On Me: Finding Intentional, Vulnerable, and Consistent Community
Anne Marie Miller
Life has a way of throwing unexpected obstacles in our path, tripping us up, and bringing us to our knees. When these crises hit, who do you call? Who do you lean on? Anne found herself in one of those valleys, months of stress accumulated and taken its toll. In a moment of desperation, she picked up the phone and called a friend for guidance. That simple phone call was the first step in a transforming journey of evaluating what community truly meant and looked like in her life.
Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community
Ruth Haley Barton
Community may be one of the most over-promised, under-delivered aspects of the Christian life today. Individuals remain selfish and stuck in their ways. Communities become spiritually lifeless or even fall apart because we don't know how to experience transformation together. Transforming community emerges as we embrace a shared commitment to the attitudes, practices and behaviors that open us to Christ in our midst.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ You are invited to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…
Peacework: Prayer and Resistance and Community
Henri J.M. Nouwen
On the one hand Peacework represents a passionate call to all Christians to embrace Jesus’ ethic of peacemaking as an “unconditional, unlimited, and uncompromising” demand. But Nouwen goes on to show that peacemaking is more than a matter of carrying placards or opposing war. It must begin with a life of prayer.
Andrew R. Wheeler
Prayer is intimidating--what do you say to the God of the universe? How do you listen to Someone you can't see? Add other voices to the mix and prayer becomes downright scary--one more opportunity to feel like an idiot in front of your small group, or one more opportunity to highlight the differences between you. And yet prayer is a gift from God to all of us, and group prayer binds us to one another in ways that no other activity can.
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