“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” ~ 1 Peter 1:22, NIV

My seven year old grandson sat on the sidelines, nestled in his father’s arms. The soccer game had been in play for at least fifteen or twenty minutes. But there Jamison sat.

Competition can be tough for a seven year old, especially when you’ve only begun to play this new game and you want to do your best, but you have no idea what it is you are supposed to be doing. Adults are screaming, kids are running, whistles are screeching and…there you sit because it is all a little too much.

Daddy’s arms are just fine, thank you very much.

But, daddy continued to encourage Jamison, reminding him how precious he is and how much his team needs him. Daddy reminded him that the others would help him learn and that no job on the field was too small. Every position was important. Every position played a part in the whole of the team.

With the noonday sun beating down, daddy wiped Jamison’s tears and kissed his sweaty forehead. Jamison looked in his daddy’s eyes and found his confidence there. He stood up and walked to the sideline and tugged on his coach’s jersey. “I’m ready to go in,” he said.

Daddy hustled up to the bleachers where we sat as a family. Jamison stood on the sidelines waiting for the whistle to announce his substitution. And there, just like a kiss from heaven, appeared a little Hispanic boy, a teammate of Jamison. He stood proudly by my grandson and wrapped his cinnamon colored arm around my grandson’s waist. Jamison responded in like manner.

There they stood arm in arm, teammates trying to learn the ropes of a new journey in their young lives. There they stood supporting each other, leaning on each other, understanding each others insecurities. There they stood, unashamedly expressing pure love and friendship for one another.

I couldn’t help but think of the Body of Christ. God calls us to step out of our comfort zones. We much prefer to remain nestled in Daddy’s arms, thank you very much. In our Father’s arms we are safe, we are secure, and we are very comfortable. But our Father has called us to a work. He has called us to share His love with a lost and hurting world. We want to please our Father, but, let’s face it, it’s a little bit scary outside the security of those strong arms. My goodness, chaos abounds, adults scream, kids run, whistles screech and we don’t have a clue how to play this new game.

But we trust our Father.

With all the courage we can muster we look deep into His eyes. We stand up, thrusting our shoulders back, with head held high and step to the sidelines. Surely no one will notice how fast our hearts are beating. The conflict of fear and faith battles in our minds and, just when we think we might have to back out, we feel the embrace of a comrade, a brother or sister who knows our fears, who understands our insecurities and loves us anyway.

The Body of Christ. Unashamedly expressing pure love and friendship for one another.

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I believe that’s what Jesus had in mind, too.

Father, Thank You for fitting us together as a Body, a Body that needs one another, that completes one another…loves one another. Open our eyes that we might see. We love You, Lord.


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