music monday: the stand by hillsong

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5:00 AM
Learning to stand. Watching a baby learn to stand is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Jude, and his nearly eight month old self, is just about at this point right now. With standing coming, more challenges arise as do the things to get in to. And more ways to attempt to baby proof. Then there is the ever impending fall.

In Matthew, Jesus heals a possessed man. The evil spirits leave him and go in to nearby pigs, which end up jumping off a cliff and drowning in the water below. The man was healed. Pigs were killed. After this happens scripture says:
The whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region. Matthew 8:34
The whole town just witnessed a miracle. They met the promised Messiah, yet they pleaded with him to leave. There was no thanking him for healing the man or asking for further teaching or even another miracle. Just a request to leave. The town did now want Jesus among them. They did not care about the healed man. Luke's account of this story goes a bit further stating they wanted him to leave "because they were overcome with fear" (Luke 8:37).

Believing in Jesus can come with a certain amount of fear. What will people think when you start talking about believing in Jesus? What will you have to do? What do you have to give up? What rules do you have to follow? Are you really forgiven? What does this Christianity thing look like?

When everything boils down, Christianity looks like people. It looks like people coming along side one another showing them how to stand. How to stand in the gap for each other and with each other. How to love each other as Jesus taught. How to stand up for what Jesus taught and the things he stood for.

It looks like doing to others as you would have them do to you (Matt 7:12). It looks like you falling and your community being there to catch you when you lose your footing. It looks like them helping you up and showing you where the solid ground is and loving you where you are at. It looks like grace and love and mercy wrapped in a congregation on a Sunday morning. 

I pray that if you have not taken a stand in your faith, that you would ask God to guide you to. To give you the courageousness needed to take the next step. That fear would not have a hold on you but you would cling to hope. I pray you would find a community of believers that you will allow yourself to be just that, yourself - complete with all your messiness and love.

I pray that if you have your community established that you would be in prayer for God to open your eyes for others who do not yet have it. That you would see who God has placed by you, just for the purpose of you coming along side them. That you would give encouragement and answer questions and help build some footing in Christ. 

I think The Stand by Hillsong is fabulous and a great standing anthem. Have a listen. 

I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the one who gave it all. I'll stand my soul Lord to you surrendered all I am is yours. 
Here's to standing firm in Christ and in the gap for others. Here's to community and the love and fun that it entails. 
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