Yesterday I watched red ants work for almost an hour as they brought into their mound pieces of grass and clover leaves. It was pretty amazing (amusing?) to watch them stagger around under the weight and awkward shape of their load. The path required them to climb up the mound and then down into a valley to enter their lair. Very often an ant would make it fine up the hill, but then tumble down into the valley, unable to see the changing terrain because of their leafy loads. After a fall, the ant would scurry around in panic for a second, before locating his leaf and carrying on toward the hole. Sometimes, nearby ants without loads would help. Sometimes one ant’s tumble took out the whole line, sending them all sliding down the valley and into collective frenzy.
We humans carry burdens too. Sometimes sickness, unemployment, or loss. Sometimes loneliness or rejection. These burdens sometimes send us tumbling, feeling out of control. These burdens sometimes cause cascades of tumbling for those around us and we all scurry aimlessly in panic. But God is with us and cares for us (Deut 31:8, Zeph 3:17). He even walked among us, coming down to our level, wrapping Himself in human flesh, and subjecting Himself to the same trials and temptations, but without sin (Heb 4:15). #Christmas #gospel
And God did not only give us Himself (as if He was not enough!). He gave us community. We make a beautifully productive kingdom. God calls His people to build each other up and bear each other’s burdens in love (1 Thes 5:11, Gal 6:2). These burdens also include sin: “If anyone is caught in any transgression, … restore him in a spirit of gentleness” (Gal 6:1). James says the way this works is that we “confess our sins to each other and pray for one another, that we may be healed” (James 5:16). Ultimately, we are each accountable to God for our own sin, but He arranged it so that we would not walk alone. #antlife