, weep weep (Rom 12:15)
The idea of solidarity--one for all, all for one--is not unique to the Church. Whole families may mourn the death of a matriarch. Whole schools may rally around a teacher facing cancer. Whole cities may parade after their team wins the trophy. Whole nations may lament after an acts of terrorism (e.g., Brussels). Humans, by nature, are a vicarious bunch.
But what sets the church apart, or at least should, is her ability to transcend the moment and offer enduring love. Family solidarity is a birthright and duty. Local solidarity is proximate and opportunistic. Sports solidarity is a seasonal fad. Patriotic solidarity is reactionary and cliche.
Church solidarity, on the other hand, is an historic, spiritual reality. It's rooted in the Incarnation of Jesus, who identified with fragile human flesh. It's proven in the Crucifixion of Jesus, who served as a substitute sacrifice for a world of sinners. It's perfected in the Resurrection of Jesus, who imaged a new humanity. And it's realized in the Spirit of Jesus, who unifies and empowers the Church to demonstrate Jesus' enduring love.
Love in the Christian community may include duty, proximity, season, and cliche, but the well goes much deeper. I experienced such love as my mother-in-law made her slow fade to Jesus. I watched such love as people moved furniture from my cousin's former residence to his new one. I tasted such love in a delicious spread of ESL Thanksgiving desserts. And I felt in a hundred hugs (two from Dan Porter!), emojis (15 from Athena Deck), gifts (see table below), and best wishes (see cards above) our family received in the last week as we prepared for our trip to Ethiopia.
The time has finally arrived for us to meet our son. Our joy is full. Our bags are stuffed. The Church rejoices.
Stay tuned for more blogs from Ethiopia and check out my wife's posts (but there is a competition, so read mine twice).