May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir – not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus (Romans 15)
So this last week I’ve been helping a couple of my friends out in their hostel.
They own this place that they opened at the end of the last year. The ground floor is a bar, and the first and second floors are hostel-accommodation. Think youth-hostel in the UK.
Anyway, I super love these guys.
I super want their business to be successful.
And so, as I write this, I’m standing behind the bar, having just cooked some food, played some live music and generally tried to be a little-bit-helpful in their really busy season.
So alongside work and life and all that jazz, I’ve been staying here the last couple of nights and cleaning and laughing and having fun etc etc etc…
Anyway, the thing I’ve been thinking about the last few days is this idea of ‘hostel living’.
Living in community.
It’s different from just sharing a house with people.
Living in a hostel means that you are constantly inviting new people into this ever-changing community. You are cooking together and cleaning together and singing together and (at 8am this morning) trying to clean the crazy flooded bust water pipe that had covered the bar in a solid couple of inches of water.
So as it’s late and tomorrow I’m going on a long day trip to see the cherry blossom (we’re on a national holiday at the moment) I’m just going to quickly share a couple of thoughts about this.
Firstly, I’m learning a lot about community. And in that, I’m thinking about what the church should be like. Because the church is really about connecting and these connections between us and God, and us and each other, and us and the world. About bridge building. And about how cooking together and cleaning together and doing life together in this intimate and yet daily level is so incredibly important. I love my church. One of my best Christian friends is travelling at the moment, and what I deeply, deeply am moved by is that she prays for me so faithfully. She asks for prayer so faithfully. So even when we’re apart, we are connected.
And that’s community.
And that’s the community that I long to build bridges into for those who are separate from it right now. For those who are separate from the God who loves them right now.
Which leads me onto my other thoughts.
That loving people means serving them. I know, I know, that’s like Christianity 101. But honestly, as I was cleaning the kitchen the other day that’s what hit me. That what I was doing in the mundane was still the worship of God, because it was rooted in my love for Him and my love for people.
I don’t want to speak words about the things that God has done, when my actions don’t display love. And so I’ve been challenged in my serving. In loving people faithfully in all the small things that show the enormity of the heart of a Father who is not distant but close.
Hostel living is a beautiful thing.
Loving through serving is a beautiful thing.
And it’s my prayer that I can get better at both.
And here’s a photo from this morning’s terrace time… 🙂