“It’s too heavy by 2kg,” he told her. “You can either pay £20 for another 10kg or you can repack your bag.” I thought she was going to break down in tears. But there was very little I could do as I watched her unpack her suitcase and try to figure out what stuff she would have to leave behind.
We all have baggage in our lives. Things that we carry with us – things we’ve picked up along the way, things we find unbearable to leave behind, things we like, things we need, even some things we hate but have become such a part of us it’s difficult to imagine life without it.
And as Barry spoke this week from Joshua 23, talking about the promises and inheritance of God, I was struck by an image of us, the people of God, all standing around a baggage carousel in an airport. There were some of us who were waiting for our baggage to come down that mysterious chute before being able head off again on the journey. Others had so little baggage, that they simply carried their hand luggage and headed on their way. And others still had four or five large bags that they were struggling to carry. And still there were others who were scrambling to gather their spilt belongings back into their suitcase as a crowd had gathered around to see what secrets had tumbled out.
And it dawned on me, that we all have our pieces of luggage that we are carrying around in life. And some, through time, through God’s grace and love, had discovered the freedom and healing of the lightening of their burdens. Whilst others remained overwhelmed with the worries of suitcase management. But all of us were on this journey. And all of us were discovering more of God’s transformative work in our lives.
But my heart broke as I looked around the baggage carousel and saw those who’s burden was light, quickly make their way towards the exit, while neglecting those who needed a helping hand. The self servitude left others in need scrambling to bear their burdens on their own.
Are we simply strangers at a carousel? To each their own?
It’s clear why God created community. From the family unit all the way to the culture of nations, community is man’s way to remain connected with one another. But God’s community discovers that to love another as they would love them self – to seek the goodness and well being of another – this supernatural calling establishes us as God’s children.
And so I ask, where are you in God’s church. Are you one who has had their burden lightened and rush quickly onto their next destination – busy with your own things? Or are you one who’s experience of God’s grace and love moves you to love your neighbour? For church is not about who attends the service, but it is seen in the one whose love of God is expressed through loving their neighbour.
For more thoughts, read Luke 10:25-37
These were some thoughts about the twenty first episode in our series on Joshua. You can find all the messages as well as the worship at the BCEC Sermon Page or listen to the sermon directly – Joshua 23.