As we gathered under twinkly lights and fire pits with plates full of pie, I prayed not for women to make new friends or to spend quality time with current ones. I prayed that you would experience a kind of community that reflected Jesus. That your experience of community at Hillside would only cause you to know Jesus more and love Him deeper.
Discipleship to Jesus is the primary purpose of Hillside Women. It is through and for our discipleship to Jesus that we seek to do anything else. We are devoted to the Word of God, because by it we grow in our knowledge of Jesus and are transformed by its truth. Only because of our discipleship to Jesus can we fully love on another in community. We love, care and invest in others from an overflow of our love for Jesus. His love is poured out through us.
Community is not an end unto itself. It is a means God uses to grow us and make us more like Himself. Just as God exists in community with the Spirit and the Son, we were designed to live in the same way. Community is not optional. It is the mode God created us to function in. What community has God given you that has or is promoting growth in your life? Who has God placed around you whom you can help grow? Just as community is necessary for you and your growth, it is also necessary for your neighbor and her growth. As we live life together, Jesus calls us to serve one another. It’s not always comfortable, but it’s always worth it. What is more valuable than knowing Christ and making Him known?
As each one of us walk in discipleship to Jesus I pray that you individually and us as a community would love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'” Mark 12:29-30
It is from this place, being an integrated lover of Jesus that we can love one another in community. God desires your whole person, not bits and pieces. Not a disintegrated love where we give Him our minds, but not our hearts. Or our souls, but not our strength. What is above and below the surface of our lives must be wholly God’s. Our whole person is commanded to love the Lord our God, who is one Lord.
Praying that as you spend time with your families, neighbors and friends this Christmas season that the love of Christ would flow from you. When our whole person loves God, we can proclaim Christ in the way we love those around us.