Highlighter Worthy

My first few real Bibles (you know, the ones that have Jesus’ words in red and aren’t broken down into Bible stories instead of books…) bear the scars of an over eager highlighter hand and a juvenile view of what was meaningful enough to underscore with some neon yellow marker.

I remember coloring over large sections of Genesis and Leviticus thinking any verse with the words “Abraham” or “law” in it must be important and thus worthy of some highlighter love. This is not to say that family histories and Biblical statutes are not important, just that I was making the Pentateuch look more like Joseph’s technicolor dream coat than a thoughtfully underlined patchwork of spiritually significant passages.

I was thinking of my highlighting habits this morning after reading a person’s story that I really want to remember – and it happened to be in a genealogy. His name is Enoch and I want to be just like him when I grow up…

The genealogy recorded in Genesis 5 lists the first 10 generations from Adam to Noah:
· Adam
· Seth
· Enosh
· Cainan
· Mahalalel
· Jared
· Enoch
· Mehuselah
· Lamech
· Noah

These men’s years are recounted in a systematic breakdown by
1. years lived before first son
2. name of son
3. years lived after first son
4. total years lived

1. 90 years – lived
2. Cainan – begot
3. 815 years – lived
4. 905 years – all the days of said person

Kinda boring. Then, six generations in of living and begetting, living and begetting, Enoch appears on the scene. His life starts out pretty normal. He lives 65 years and then begets Methuselah. But Enoch didn’t just resume living after begetting (I really like that word) his son.

Enoch “walked with God.” For 300 years he walked with God and then – boop – Enoch was no more “for God took him.” And the other generations keep right on living and begetting as usual.

While some people in the Hall of Faith, found in Hebrews 11, have whole books devoted to their story, Enoch’s story gets a mere 6 verses in the middle of a genealogy. But the simplicity of his life’s example makes a large statement about what matters to God.

Hebrews 11:5 retells Enoch’s story, saying: “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’ for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

The man so pleased his Heavenly Father with his faith that God spared him a physical death.

That alone is awesome – for God to desire your presence in heaven so much He doesn’t wait until nature takes its course, but plucks you right off the Earth in an instant. Just wow.

But what I love about Enoch’s life the most (and what I covet for my own life) is that he was remembered for pleasing God. Enoch’s testimony, the evidence of his faith, was that he walked with the Lord and it pleased his Abba.

The New Community

I’m beginning to realize that Christian community is quite the chameleon.  Community is a constantly evolving concept, changing just as much as its members.  On the most fundamental level, the Christian community encompasses all believers, however, the power of community lies less in numbers and more in intimately doing life with other Christ-followers.   In community, we walk these primitive roads together – carrying each other’s burdens, encouraging each other to press forward, simply, loving each other.

Leaving California meant leaving my community – a group of twenty-somethings trying to figure this life out together.  We succeeded.  We failed.  Together.  These women were my friends, my confidants, my bridesmaids, my cheering squad, my sounding board.  They still are those things, but, with 1300 miles between us, our community looks different.

Different is difficult for me.  I have become oh so aware that, as with many things in life, community has seasons.  One of my anxieties about moving to Idaho was the unknown community factor.  Who will our friends be? How will we plug-in outside of the youth group?  Will people like us?  How long will it take to develop the kind of community I had before?  Will it be the same?

I don’t have the answers (though, as far as I know, people like us…) and I’m beginning to realize that I don’t need the answers.  God is showing me how to appreciate this new season of community, to let it develop with no expectations.  He has already blown me away with what our community looks like.

No expectations looks like:

Here’s a basket full of notes and gift cards to welcome us to Coeur d’Alene and CBC.

A warm welcome extended by CBC members.

Oh, you’ve just arrived in town?  Come over for burgers!

We missed you at the church picnic.  Do you want to get coffee?

You like to hike? I’ll take you up Canfield Mountain on Saturday!

You need a couch? We have one that needs a home!

 And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together (as believers), as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.  {Hebrews 10:24-25, Amp}

Not only have Tim and I been adopted into a welcoming community during this new season, we now have an excellent example of how to extend community to others.