An anime, a rom-com, and a youtube from a Catholic priest all walked into my head… 😀
I have been thinking about families and tribes and friends and groups and ‘bands of brothers’.
Are you and I actively seeking ways to help others in their quests, struggles, activities? Are we acting like a band of brothers, a body in Christ, or are we living separate, distant lives, and occasionally throwing a prayer or a half-hearted offer of assistance to our little sphere of influence?
The anime appeals to me in many ways, and one very profound way is the idea of “camaraderie and a shared goal”. In the anime, the group starts with two and gathers 5 more, all for some distinct purposes and for a few fuzzy ones. Each person of the group has a special niche, a thing at which they excel.
Then I watched a movie this week that showed the difference between a tight latino family and a cooler, separate wealthier family. Oh there was love in both families, but there was BONDING in one, and….pleasant but distant association in the other. Which family was better able to help each other? Which family fed the heart and spirit of those even not in the family?
Then the youtube vid talked about how no sin is private, that it has repercussions in the spiritual realm, but SO DOES EVERY HIDDEN GOOD THING WE DO. How, perhaps, a victory in the spiritual realm in Anytown, USA might actually be a tipping point in the spiritual realm for a battle that a martyr is fighting in a foreign land. Even if it is not, since the battles we are fighting ARE eternal, for all the marbles, then it is necessary, both for our courage and for others, to keep this in mind.
So I thought about my little tribes and peeps and thought “Well we are not all on a quest to save the kingdom….WAIT…perhaps we are!”
If we understand that we are all vitally connected, that love is actually ACTION that has ETERNAL repercussions, then we take to heart the Word when it says:
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit
And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.
And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”
contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly Do not be wise in your own estimation.
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:24
Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
If we take all that to heart, then we can understand that our actions matter, our love matters, our works of love are eternal and the blinders of what is really going on (the battle for souls and lives in the spiritual realm) fall off.
So we are on a quest. We do need a tribe (yes, even we introverts/hermits 😉 ). We do need to be active and deliberate EVERY DAY taking the burdens and struggles of others onto ourselves, but also taking the joy and rest that unity with others provides.
In this way, not only will we “not be easily broken”, not only will we be less likely to fall into our own belly buttons because we will be looking out instead of looking in, not only will we be engaging in actual spiritual warfare and making deposits into eternity, but we will be fulfilling the very LAW OF GOD by loving Him and loving others.
Who is your tribe? What are their quests? How can you help them?