Several years ago I heard a story on television about a group of ladies who decided to join together and buy a moderately expensive diamond necklace. I believe there were about 13 ladies in the group. No one in the group knew everyone else. Each just knew and heard about the activity from a friend. Buying the necklace initially brought everyone in contact with each other. But that is not ultimately why this group was interviewed.
The group scheduled each person the same amount of time to wear the necklace. And here is where the story begins to change. As the ladies began to tell stories about their time with the necklace, they began to develop caring relationships. Eventually, the group of strangers became a close, loving community. By the time I heard this story, the necklace was secondary and the support and sense of belonging and shared stories became more important.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul reminds us of this truth: “we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” This treasure he speaks of is our saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It is this unsurpassed good news that brings us together. It is this immeasurable treasure that we celebrate together each and every time we gather. It is this truth that binds us into community as we share stories of our lives with this treasure.
Living in community can be difficult at times. We tend to let lesser things fill our times together. Things like struggling for power, talking about each other rather than taking with each other, letting personal hurts create revenge, seeking to get our way rather than seeking His way…..I could go on and on.
Let us, like this group of ladies, celebrate the truth that we have a treasure beyond anything here on earth! Let that treasure bind us together as the family of God and let us boldly tell our stories to anyone who will listen of the power of the treasure of grace in our lives! It is our task. It is our privilege.