Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “The greatest disease in the West today is not (Coronavirus?) TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
Our 9th church weekend away drew another motley crew to SU’s Gowanbank Centre, Darvel. New Lanark, Lochranza & Stirling have been other venues for what is always a relaxed fun time of sharing and learning together. Attending are always folk on the fringes of faith & friendship with Jesus and God’s Family, a great opportunity to make new friends and explore faith in a chilled setting. There are the challenges of different personal time clocks, ways of doing things, snoring levels & body odours to contend with, but such is the determination to share Jesus’ Love in practical ways that 2 days & nights are perfect to taste and experience the benefits of community living.
One family spoke of how good it was to be ‘a year on’ in the Fullarton Family and have this weekend as a marker to reflect & look forward from with gratitude & hope. In my 20’s 2 weeks of Campbelltown summer mission each July gave me an even greater taste of what it’s like to be a ‘Family on Mission’. It’s a taste of heaven and fulfilment of human: yearning for personal / social identity (friend, sibling, child, adventurer, warrior, missioner, etc); longing to belong to a creative caring community which accepts who & where you are; & desire to be involved in a life/community-transforming cause, which channels your giftings and helps you to grow up into your new identity ‘in Christ’. Such deep-seated yearning, longing & desire come together like 3 rivers harnessed by Jesus Love in your soul to become a force for good, finding with other followers a spiritual synergy for the blessing of others.
As far as I’m concerned, learning to live in a caring community which looks out to the needs of others and shares Jesus Love in daily down-to-earth ways is ‘where it’s at’. Over the next weeks at Fullarton we’re introducing and encouraging each other to ‘BLESS’ others and be blessed in the process. Here’s the BLESS commitments to:
Listen – I will listen to and discover the needs of others and the places where God is at work.
Eat – I will share meals and spend time with people in my life (not just close family & friends)
Serve – I will respond to the needs of others and help them in practical and impactful ways.
Story – I will share the story of Jesus and what He is doing in my life with others.
As Mother Theresa put it, “The poverty in the West is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
Friends, Let’s Bless & Be Blessed!