Discipleship in Community

It’s official – the honeymoon is over.

As we begin Week Three of SMI, the ‘real me’ in each of us has come to the surface as the heat of the project, both literal and figurative, has pushed us to our limits. We’d like to say we’ve handled it perfectly, but we haven’t. Roommates have argued over bedtime routines, leaders have questioned the validity of our schedule, and project members have struggled to do their share of the work. Everyone has come to see what we meant when we told them SMI would be “the hardest summer you’ll ever love”.

Through it all, though, God has been so faithful! We are learning the reality of God’s grace described in 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” [and, I might add, even our sin]. In God’s mercy, our weaknesses and sins, though a threat to the unity of our group and mission, have served to show us who we truly are and how desperately we need Christ. They have given us opportunities to speak – and receive – the truth in love. And they have demonstrated that Christian community is vital for our discipleship and growth in Christ.

This may not sound radical, but it is. Long after SMI is over and the hectic pace of medical school makes Christian community seem nearly impossible, the students will recall their time here. They will remember how God used the community powerfully throughout the summer, and seek to recreate that on their campuses even when it’s difficult. They will invest in others, showing them through word and deed what it means to practice healthcare for God’s glory. And, perhaps most importantly, they will teach those who come after them to do the same so that new disciples will be made until the Lord returns.

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