”Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend” – Albert Camus; French Nobel Prize-winning author, journalist, and philosopher.
We all long to have someone walk beside us in life. Someone who is not judgmental, but just a friend who would understand and help you. While each of us must take our own journey and each journey will be unique, the Bible says, we are not intended to take that journey alone. We all need a friend to walk with, don’t we?
In Luke 24, two friends are walking. They are heavy-hearted indeed. They don’t know what to think or what to do. Jesus died on a cross, and with Him, their dreams died, too. They loved Jesus as a friend, but they also believed He was the Messiah. They never expected Him to die an untimely death. A few believers found the tomb empty and while the women said Jesus was alive, but that seemed impossible. As they walked and talked, they tried to reason and figure it out. They simply didn’t know what to think. Suddenly a third person joined them in their walk. “He asked them, ‘What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces.” (Luke 24:17).
They explain what has happened to the stranger amazed that He is unaware of recent events. As they approach Emmaus, they ask the man to join them for dinner. While eating, their eyes are opened and they recognize the Lord. It’s Jesus. They were walking with Jesus all along.
God wants us to walk with Him and with each other. When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, we should not have to face it alone. We’re urged to keep up with one another often. We need each other: the support, the encouragement, the help along the way.
God gives us community as a way to become more like Him. God’s Word reminds us that we are put in relationships in order to encourage one another in our pursuit of God and His Kingdom. There is something real about the concept of power in numbers. When we are surrounded by other believers, we feel empowered in our faith and may even be more sensitive to God’s presence in our lives. There’s something powerful about believers joining together, making each other accountable and being a sort of witness of one another’s lives. We need people checking in on us, asking the hard questions, and challenging us to really live out our faith.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.” (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community)
- Do you have someone or a group of people that you can be authentic, be yourself with, without any facades or false fronts?
- Small groups are about doing life together. A place where you can grow closer to God, closer to others, and closer to your purpose. Agree or disagree? If you are not a member of a small group, please consider joining one this semester.