Lord, this morning I had a choice. I could rush off to church or I could sit here with You. Last week I felt the need to be in community, but this morning I felt I needed this most, being unrushed here, with You.
Ours is not a cookie-cutter relationship, a one-size fits all, follow this recipe, relationship. The Old Testament said, essentially, follow these precepts. But in the New Testament, what do I say? Follow Me. Come with Me.
The church has in large part taken New Testament principles and made new precepts to follow, and overlaid those on top of the Old Testament laws—not the ceremonial laws, those the church has replaced with ones of its own. To the extent a community of believers or any church institution is focused on precepts, that is the limit of the depth of relationship with Me they encourage.
To Follow Me is to engage in a dynamic relationship even more complex than any earthly one, for I Am both Parent and Brother, I Am Lover and Friend, I Am Defender and Protector. You know nothing quite like it on earth. Your best earthly relationships mirror one facet of what it means to be in relationship with Me, and that is what I am calling you, calling all of you, to.
How do you bond on earth? You spend time. You pay attention. Other than the parent-child relationship, which begins with the parent as giver and child as receiver, but then grows over time into mutual ways of giving and receiving, the best earthly relationships are reciprocal.