Recently, I watched a show about a village of Eskimos who hunted whales during a short, specific time which provided food for them for the entire year. It was an amazing show.
What amazed me more was that the show briefly mentioned the faith of these Eskimos was in Christ. The entire village worked together and was likely saved.
I thought, “Why don’t we see more communities in our area transformed by the powerful message of the Gospel?”
One hindrance is that our culture is not very “family-friendly.” These Eskimos spent lots of time together in families and extended families. Not just go to a baseball game time OR meet at holidays and eat turkey time but significant amounts of time each day together. In this way, they lived together and shared their faith in the context of REAL life.
Another reason that I believe this culture shared their faith was that they lived under desperate conditions which called for God. They had to trust God for the provision for food, for basic shelter from the cold weather, and the like. They suffered and lived in a sacrificial way to help others in their village. Everyone was important and needed in that community and they had to pull together.
I found myself longing to be an Eskimo – meaning that I long for the church to live in community like they did: sharing, caring, and loving each other in a sacrificial way – just like Jesus did!
But then, I thought: “I want that, Lord, but I don’t want the cold.” Do I really want to suffer and to totally depend upon God for everything? We really have so many things in our lives that make life comfortable. We are blessed in many ways but are these blessings helpful for depending upon Christ?
I’m still selfish and enjoy the comforts of life too much! “Lord, make me more like the Eskimos – even if that means I must suffer for your glory!” Philippians 1:29 comes to mind: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake…” – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Php 1:29). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
-Mark (believing that God is calling us to be a covenant community for Christ and for His purposes!)