We were able to have a good discussion on where I am with what is happening and how the gathering is taking shape. For me its invaluable having Ian being able to input from his wealth of experience while looking at the gathering from the outside. In many ways it is like a life line as Ian not only understands what I am saying, he seems to have an idea of how I am feeling because he has experienced this stuff himself.
We spoke a bit about the expression of Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 22 of loving God, loving ourselves and loving others. This tied in really, I guess, with myself wondering what, as the gathering, our mission should be? It became clear that we aspire to love God through our worship, we believe that we will be able to try to love others through our mission (whatever that may be) … but we can’t do any of that until we start to love ourselves.
Jesus says in that passage above ‘love others as you love yourselves’. I wondered when looking at that afresh – ‘how do we love ourselves?’ … or maybe the question is ‘do we love ourselves?’ Before we can love others it would seem that we need to be able to love ourselves. So, as the gathering, we need to learn how to love ourselves before we are able to love others. Or, to turn that around, we will find it extremely difficult to love others if we dont love ourselves first.
I’m going to raise this tomorrow at the gathering as I think this is something quite key to our development as a missional community … if we want to love others we need to love ourselves … so we need to wonder what can the gathering be doing to help that. As the theme is ‘our bodies as temples’ then it may well fit in quite well.