ONE ANOTHER | March 30-April 4
We've been talking about spiritual practices, which we may think are praying, reading our bible, or something CRAZY like fasting! ;) So, how is "One Another-ing" a spiritual practice that's suppose to "keep us"? What does that even mean?
One Another-ing | The Bible has a lot of "one another" phrases, like "Serve one another," "carry one another's burdens," "be kind to one another," and so on.
So, what does it look like to "one another" one another while we're all suppose to stay away from one another?! Even though the people who lived the Bible could never have imagined our online world, we believe we can still love, encourage, forgive and worship with one another.
DAY 1: Let's Start With You
The following questions are NOT test questions. They really aren't for anyone but you! So, today, start by taking some time to write, draw, or think through the following questions:
- Who are your "another"s? Write down at least 10 names of friends, family, neighbors, etc. who you keep in touch with the most, because you want to or have to (you may have to keep in touch with you family daily, but you may choose to keep in touch with your best friend daily). Who do you talk to you daily (text, DM, talk to, call)?
- What do your normal interactions and conversations with each one look like...you know...when there's not a once-in-a-century pandemic happening? What's changed about those interactions since we all started staying home?
- What are some things that stop you or people you know from spending time together or doing things with and for one another? Explain. (might be fear, social anxiety, business, laziness, etc.)
Day 2-5: Give it a try
Each day, we have a different kind of "one another-ing". Try them all or pick one to try throughout the week. See what you learn about yourself, God, or others.
- Love One Another (John 13:34-35, 1 John 4:7-16) -- We can sometimes think that we love people because it's the right thing to do, it will make people happier, we'll get loved in return, or it will spread good vibes. We can often think of loving one another in terms of "doing right" by them. It's the "right" thing to do. But those passages don't quite frame it that way. They talk about loving one another because God loved us first. It's a response rather than a task. ... As you go about your day today, every chance you get, ask yourself, "What's the most loving thing I can do right now?" or "What does love require of me in this moment?" Seriously. Keep asking that question. Reflect, at the end of the day: How did that question impact your heart and attitude toward others and your interactions with them?
- Encourage One Another (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11) -- When the write wrote these verses, things were really tough for people who believed that Jesus was God. People who claimed and lived their life like Jesus was God were being targeted and killed by the hundreds. So, this verse was quite an encouragement and a good reminder for people. Encouragement may ultimately just be a fancy word for "reminder". Maybe we forget who we are, Who God is, what God promises, God's character, that we're loved, that we matter, that we have purpose... What do you need to remember today and who, in your life, needs a similar reminder? Encourage at least 3 people today. Send them a note, text, call, video, tik-tok, verse, drawing, card, make them something, etc.
- Forgive One Another (Matthew 18:23-25, Ephesians 4:32) -- Matthew talks about forgiveness using an illustration of "debt". When we hurt others or are hurt, something is taken. Maybe it's a sense of safety, confidence, belonging, trust... Those aren't exactly as easy to give back as a physical possession. So, forgiveness ends up being more than just letting go of hurt, but rather, cancelling the debt of someone that is unlikely ever to be truly repaid. Why? Like we saw with "love one another", we're told we forgive because we've been forgiven. ...Forgiveness can be hard to give or receive. Which do you need? Either write a letter to someone who you need to forgive (whether you give it to them or tell them or not) OR write a letter from God's perspective reminding you that you are forgiven.
- Worship with One Another (Psalm 95:1-7) -- Worship isn't just music. It's celebration. We celebrate, honor, prioritize, and glorify the things we worship. We don't just sing songs about them. We don't sing songs about football...we paint our faces, go to games, wear certain clothing, make mountains of food, hang out with other people and yell at the screen together! Worship can look like a lot of different things. So, what is there for you to celebrate about God and how can you include someone else? You could bake "together" on zoom, watch something together, read something together, write something together, play something together... God loves unity and relationships! How can we lean into that as a celebration of Who He is and how He's blessed us?
Day 6: Reflect
Look back at the things you wrote down, drew, or thought about on Day 1. Has anything changed since then? Have you become more aware of how you interact with others? Which practice resonated with you? Which was the hardest? What's one new thing you tried this week that you want to do more often?
***Ways to "One Another" one another***
- Netflix watch-party
- Jackbox games
- Eat "together"
- Bake "together"
- Write encouragement notes and mail them
- Listen to one another
- Share music