Life Together (While Apart)

by Jarrod Worley

I remember the week before spring break hoping that we could move classes online. That way everyone in the ministry that has never gotten to experience the beauty of a Tuscaloosa summer could finally experience it and do it together. Obviously, God had different plans. People were forced out of their dorms and our quarantined life began. At the start of the break I asked RJ for a book that we had used in previous college worship series by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together. The book hits you over and over again with truth, especially in our current situation.

You might be asking yourself, “Worley, how can a book called Life Together be applicable when we’re all stuck apart from each other?”  That is part of the brilliance. For a few days once the quarantine season started, I could act as if nothing was wrong or out of the ordinary but eventually, I realized how much I missed seeing everyone at FCM.

The thing about true Christian fellowship is that it is a beautiful gift from God but that we waste it so often. The beauty of fellowship to me is seeing how God is working in others lives, seeing their Joy, their growth, and working through the struggles that you might share with them.

Bonhoeffer dives into the introduction writing, “It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians.” I am one to admit that I didn’t cherish fellowship like I should have and now it is largely ripped out of my life.

Luckily though the college ministry has adapted. I’ll be the first to admit I was a bit skeptical of how zoom Sunday school and bible studies would work but I am proud to say that my Wednesday night zoom through Ephesians and Philippians is one of the best hours of my week. Everyone has heard Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens Iron, and one man sharpens another”. I can tell you that this rings true in my life today. Bonhoeffer wrote on the subject of needing others in your life to spur you on.

“The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and againwhen he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain; his brother’s is sure.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

While we might have hundreds of miles between us that does not take away the charge we are given to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can still be intentional now in the ways we check in, facetime with friends or have our zoom hangouts. I want y’all to know from the bottom of my heart that I love this ministry. This year was so encouraging in so many different ways and its devastating to see the school year end this way. To leave I’m reminding y’all of something I read that I try to remind myself of everyday, the Lord that we worshipped so lovingly and eagerly in January and February is still the same Lord we worship today!