Last spring, 27 or so women set off on the women’s spring retreat. I’m still humming off that weekend. In so many ways, we got moments of what CGS is about: the real Jesus, engaging real people, for the real world. From moments of hilarity (I mean belly-gut laughter!) that still make me giggle; to moments of honest heartache, wrestling with the stories Jesus has put us in; we got the opportunity to bring each other to Jesus, and Jesus to each other. In our home, we call it “one anothering” each other with the gospel. It’s helping each other taste afresh that Jesus is in our lives, working with a never-ending, unstoppable kind of love (to use the Jesus Storybook Bible words), and giving us His very person along the way. It’s linking arms with each other and saying, “If you don’t have the faith to see Jesus and keep going, I’ll have it for you” (Luke 5:20).
Unlike Peter, John, and all the other disciples, we don’t live in a time when we get to literally see the scars on Jesus’ very own body or touch his nail-pierced hands (I can’t wait until we do). No, in our day, we’re called to “not lean on our own understanding,” but to walk by faith when we can’t see, taste, touch, smell or hear Him. The Bible even tells us faith is “the conviction of things unseen.” That’s just plain hard!! Wonderfully, Jesus knows this. His Holy Spirit living in each of us- encouraging, reminding, comforting- is our getting to “one another” each other in our everyday life realities. A mentor once said to me, “Jesus wept, I will too.” Sometimes, just our very presence and tears will be the way we “one another” each other back to Jesus.
As the pastors have been reminding us through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, if Jesus is about the business of bringing “all things under Himself” (Ephesians 1:10), what will that look like in our lives in the coming year? How will we find Him, or be found by Him, in our homes, our workplaces, our mothering, our schools, our neighborhoods…? How will we keep growing in “one anothering” each other as a reminder of who He is, what he is doing, and what we actually have when we’re connected to Him? I can’t wait to see how we grow more in this way in the things women’s ministry will be about this coming year — whether it be at women’s events, small group gatherings, Wednesday Bible study, or our next spring retreat!