Thursday, May 16, 2024

Keeping Commitments 3)

Our group meeting always ends in group prayer but I wanted every member to be able to share from the beginning. So I split our study session into two parts.  Part 1 asked members to name a commitment they have to keep and, as I mentioned two posts ago, I began with my foot exercises. Certainly no one else named that issue (though two group members have suffered in the past).  As we went round the room people particularly identified commitments to family, especially grandchildren. One highlighted their belonging to a church choir, another referred to their list of friends with whom to keep in contact. Someone spoke about their commitment to a weekly church outreach programme involving young families in the village. And yes, there was honest disclosure. Someone described how their desire to move from couch to 5K run was a failed commitment!

|We reflected on these and many other kinds of commitments and placed them in four categories.        

First - our vows to God  

Second - vows in marriage, to family, to friends 

Third - required practical commitments like paying bills, maintaining contracts, getting to work on time, projects keeping appointments.

Fourth - voluntary commitments - involvement with others offering help, showing compassion, mercy, which are extra to duties of daily life.

Part 2 reviewed some set questions about Hosea's marriage modelling God's broken relationship with Israel yet his enduring love, and with this in mind focused on the list above.  Because God's love for us calls for our commitment to him to be so serious that it affects every level of commitment.  As one group member said: 'It really challenges me to think that everything that we do matters to God - all commitments at every level! '.

As we prepared to pray together one person shared how they were particularly burdened with a decision about further leadership involvement in the church.  About how difficult it is to discern at the fourth level how much more we should do in busy lives. 

We always value time together. I know this challenge about keeping commitments has a sharper edge as I plan my diary ahead. 

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