Forgiveness and Bearing Burdens

I think it is a very difficult task for us to talk about “bearing one another’s burdens” in the 21st century church for two reasons: 1) churches do not generally function in a way that allows for individuals to share their burdens; 2) in our individualist/private paradigm that most of us have in the USA, we do not want someone to come in and take our burdens unless invited to do so– we have so many boundaries set up to prevent such close contact and vulnerability. Our churches do not seek to transform us from this; instead, they often cater to this individualist/private paradigm and structure programs and groups to allow for such an individualistic experience. How am I to bear the burdens of the anonymous person coming to worship on Sunday morning (even if I take the steps to introduce myself, etc.) when they and most people in the pews do not share their burdens nor take burdens from others? As well, how am I to bear the burdens of the highly involved, super-Christian when they have just as much of a private life as the anonymous pew sitter? Finally, I have noticed that my last two points revolve around people in a worship service, perhaps this is the problem in our thinking… I’m not sure, but there is much to explore here. [I posted a comment on a friend’s blog that is very similar to this post– http://www.languagepool.net/)

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