“One Another on a Monday”

24 Oct

On Sunday (23rd Oct) I preached at Ammanford Evangelical Church on a phrase which describes us as a church, it was part of our ‘PhraseBook‘ series. The phrase was “One Another on a Monday.” Essentially it’s an expression that as a church we are to be involved with each other more than one day a week. It was a sermon about how we relate on a Monday…and then everyday of the week.  Here’s the audio. If you’d prefer to take 5min to just read it, there’s a brief version when you

The first thing to establish is that the Christian life (and church life) isn’t an individual pursuit (like a marathon say) but a team sport (more like rugby). Throughout the Bible we see God crafting for himself not individuals, but a people, a community. Adam, alone, was not good. Adam and Eve, together, displaying something of the community which exists in the Trinity was a thing to be sung about. More over God didn’t just save Noah on the ark but his whole family too. A group, a people. Consistently as Moses and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh in Exodus they prophesied for God saying, “Let my people go.” God has always been in the business of creating a people, not a group of individuals.

And the church is no different. The metaphors used by the NT authors by tribute to this. A family, a flock, a body. They all speak of the interconnected dependence and relationship which should exist between members. Moreover each and every time we take communion we don’t simply remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, but the new community that He created through them, “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” 1 Corinthians 10:17

It seems pretty obvious then that the relationships we have with each other as Christians committed to a particular church should be more than cordiality on a Sunday, but something that lasts all week. But exactly what should these new relationships look like?

Well, they should be radically different from any other relationship we have. The ‘one another’ commands of the New Testament are as numerous as they are diverse. Serve one another, forgive one another, correct and rebuke one another, wash one another’s feet…it goes on. The problem is that if we aren’t convinced that the Christian life is a team sport, if we’re stuck in and obsessed with our individual pursuit, we’ll never one another as we should. Instead our lives and relationship will look exactly like those outside the people of God, self-centred, self-serving, definitely not radical.

If we aren’t in it together, we wont open our homes to others who might get our carpets dirty, we wont listen to what others have to say when we politely ask ‘how are you’, we wont pray for each other. And why would we? It’s all about me isn’t it? No. It’s a team sport. We have new relationships with each other which should be radically different.

But there’s one “One another” that is all-pervasive. Not more important, but the one if we get right spills out in all the others…Love one another. Love one another not with words but with actions. (1 John 3:11-18).

Real love acts. Just as the love of God became action as Christ laid down his love for us, so to should the love we claim to have for one another become acts of service, generosity, humility and so on.

If we really love one another we’ll step outside our close-knit friends in church. If we really love one another we’ll be ready with support when someone else needs it. Dare I say it, if we really love one another we’ll confront, rebuke and correct each other over sin.

The amazing thing is that Jesus death not only paid the price for our sin, His resurrection removed our bondage to the selfishness sin brings. When we actively love one another we aren’t being religious, we’re being imitators, we’re being worshipers.

Even more amazingly, when we love like this, one another-ing on a Monday, we’ll convince others to worship God to. As Chester and Timmis suggest in Total Church, these radically changed relationships in church community make people want to believe the Gospel. Rather than arguing about science or religious tolerance, they’ll want to know what it is that’s caused such a radical change.

“One another on a Monday.” Imagine what would happen if we did!

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