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Being a community of love

Alison Williams, Southern Team Leader, 23/12/21

The gospel is good news for every generation – even those in a pandemic! CUs often hold ‘events weeks’ in a major effort to reach their campuses, but this year, many CUs will be thinking about about these Events Weeks having never experienced one in person before. So we’ve created this mini series to help with this, by considering the times we live in and how the gospel speaks directly to students in 2022.

Being a community of love

 

Part 2.

Being a community of love

Last time we considered some of the difficulties facing students today as they consider their future. The future doesn’t appear full of hope and light. Yet Christian students do have a hopeful present and future as people who are chosen by God to declare his praises and speak of the “wonderful light”.

Being a follower of Jesus isn’t a solo–occupation. God has called us to be part of a holy nation as we read in 1 Peter 2:9. We are called into a community of believers, with a common identity and purpose. This means that how we live as a community will have an impact on how we declare His praises in this generation.

Think about it for a moment. If a visitor came to you CU meeting what kind of community would they experience. What kind of King are you declaring by your life together? In John 13: 34–35 Jesus says,

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus priority for his followers is that they love one another. In the context of John 13, Jesus has already shown his disciples how that love is lived out, as he stooped down to wash their feet. Loving one another is an active response to the sacrifice and love of Christ, who stooped down to die for us. He gave up everything, his heavenly home, his glory with the Father, his riches and comforts, to live and then die for us! When Jesus calls his followers to love one another this is what it involves; dying to ourselves, our preferences, our comforts and living for the good of others and putting their needs first.

This means that Christian Unions on campus should be a place where we serve and give ourselves for other people. Where we go with the intention of “washing the feet” of our fellow members, rather than expecting others to fulfil our needs. A community without cliques and without judgmental attitudes, a community were other people’s preferences are more important than our own and were no one feels lonely. An Events Week, run by a group of people who genuinely love each other will make a big impact on those who come along.

The next time you go to a CU meeting or small group have a look around and think about the part you can play in helping that group to be a community marked by love. Consider your own role in loving others within your CU so that together we can “declare his praises” on campus.

 

Alison Williams,

Southern Team Leader