“I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.”
We are not designed to fit in. We are however designed to fit together. God gathers us together.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
We want a relationship with Christ and to know His kingdom. It would be toxic however to be all melted into the melting pot of being alike to please one another.
We need to maintain our own authenticity and allow love to abound in that place. We need to see and feel others around us and to have intimacy.
Community is a safe but vulnerable place.
It requires each of us being free to bloom and fruit with no tethering of ‘should’ over us. One but not necessarily uniform and controlled. Free to make choices.
Rules should never be elevated above relationship.
Expectations of ‘should’ give space for conformity and ritual keeping and boundaries that we have to be hidden behind and are judged upon.
We have to do life in full visibility, openly, but in relationship and love not in knowledge of judging.
It’s like returning to the relationship with God and each other as it was in Eden. Of knowing how loved we are just for who we are.
Without necessity to earn it as that has already been established in Christ’s crucifixion when we were at our worst.
In Eden we can choose to sit under one of two trees. That of Knowledge of good and evil that puts us in the place of law. That of Life, that is Christ, that is love and relationship.
We waste our time trying to make others look like us. Making the assumption that we are right and they have it wrong. That is not love.
Truth is love. Jesus is both. He just gathers us to Him and lingers with us and loves us into relationship no hurdles to be leapt that become ever increasing bars to be got over until we eventually fail.
The concept for us as individuals and as a body together is very simple. Who can we love without discrimination?
All rules are removed from His table it is who is on my left and who is on my right and who is in front of me?
They are who are present to me. Each has my love.
In the presence and relationship with Christ we have freedom to play as a child fearless of making a mistake or mess because love will redeem it all.
Secure that we are who we are and loved beyond boundaries. The kingdom works not by force and rules but by love.
In scripture David knew God intimately. He did not always get his choices right but his choice not to be a king like Saul but a new type true to his encounter with God.
A very different relationship gave him a kingdom that worked differently from any previous because he had encountered God and knew what fitted him individually.
Partnering with God brings authenticity, joy and peace and love.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
The illustration shows us called to gather together. Each our unique colour together creating the light to the body, the vast spectrum of the Holy Spirit emanating light that pushes back the darkness.
Three Scriptures that come to mind:
“I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.” Zechariah 10:8 ESV
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 ESV
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3 ESV
The song Good Shepherd. Upper Room