We’re taught and advised to depend on things that are ultimately undependable. Warnings, warranties and fine print clearly outline where contracts are voided and where loyalties end. Its the world we live in: Promises are disposable and people replaceable. In self defense against this dysfunction, we suck it in and hold back. We pretend this is normal and look the other way. We keep to ourselves to keep safe.

Alternatively, the Father calls us into an unrestricted love for each other. Exemplified by His Son and empowered by His Spirit, we are summoned to love as we’ve been loved and serve as we’ve been served. Here we are shaped by a posture of openness – vulnerability even – towards God and others. It’s an invitation into wholeness by way of accountability.

Over the next three months we’ll be eavesdropping on Philippians, originally a letter passed between friends. In this letter, Paul details this alternative way of living, and champions it as the new norm for Christ followers.

“Only in community can faith be lived, celebrated, and deepened, lived out through one act as fidelity to the Lord and solidarity towards all people. To accept the Word is to turn ourselves to ‘the Other’ in others. It is with them that we live the Word. Faith is not to be found in private or in intimacy; faith is the denial of the retreat into ourselves.” (Gustavo Gutierrez)