Matthew 13:52, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
Being a transitional generation is difficult. We know what we don’t want, and we are seeing it die before our eyes. We may (or may not) have glimpses of what we do want and what is coming… like “seeing through a glass darkly.”
But to be a steward of heaven, we must bring out of our treasure what is new and what is old. In order to effectively transition, we must build a bridge between the old and the new. But the tendency is to throw out the old in the excitement of the new, especially if the old was laden with abuse, immaturity and pain. If we are not faithful “masters of a house,” as was Moses who God called “faithful in all My house,” we will not be able to lead anyone else from slavery to the promised land. We will die in the wilderness, because this is how inheritances are lost.
We must not abandon God’s order, God’s gifts or God’s ways, even if they were stolen, counterfeited, abused or mishandled. God’s order is to pass inheritance from father to son… through relationship. We were created for connection, first with Him and then with each other. If we abandon this order out of judgment or hurt, we will miss at least some of what He has for us.
It is hard to keep your heart open when it has been wounded time and time again. Almost everyone has been wounded by the church system. But, even when God offered to rid Moses of the stubborn, rebellious and disobedient people he was leading, Moses still stuck it out. God knew his heart. He knew that he was faithful and that his answer would be the right one.
Building community has been one of the hardest assignments I have ever been given from the Lord. Community may look different in different seasons, and hopefully we won’t repeat some of the mistakes of the church in the past (control, abuse, manipulation, ego, building our own kingdom, etc.). But the bottom line is that we are created for connection, first with God and then with each other. Things that need to be dealt with in our lives surface in the context of community, while they remain hidden in isolation. One of the dangers of today’s culture are the pseudo-connections like social media that fill the place where genuine relationship should be, minus the vulnerability. The whirlwind pace of many people’s lives is not even conducive to relationships of depth and intimacy.
So, we continue plugging away at this… learning how to love, speaking the truth even when it hurts, being accountable to one another, gathering to break bread, refusing to bail out. It is culturally and spiritually important. Being part of an imperfect community (which is every community) is scary, especially if we’ve been hurt a lot in our natural family or in past church experiences. I find that many people want all the advantages of community without the responsibilities or even just showing up when it’s inconvenient. But God changed the world with just 12 in unity, so let’s be encouraged… and keep on keeping on!