You’ve heard the phrase before. This three-word admonition is shared as soothing balm following a tense or difficult moment, but often has the opposite effect. Rather than offering comfort, it stirs up irritation. When my car has run out of gas, when I have bounced a check, or missed an important appointment, please don’t demean me by suggesting that out of the trials of unpredictable or irresponsible living there may come a nugget of wisdom. “Live and learn” often lands on our ears as a reprimand of sorts with a silver lining.
But what if we hear it as something else? What if we embrace living and learning as a declaration of a vibrant Christian life? It isn’t an admonition, but a sustained promise of who and how we hope to be.
We live and learn when we pause to listen to the joys and sorrows of a child.
We live and learn when we look for the lonely and isolated.
We live and learn when we engage in Bible reading and study with others.
We live and learn when we meet one another in worship moments.
We live and learn when we serve our neighbors in need.
We live and learn when we wrestle with complicated issues of race and culture.
We live and learn when we respond with gratitude.
We can’t help but live and learn as people of faith. It is who we were created to be.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
From the earliest pages of Scripture, God’s people were instructed to put their faith into action, as a way of sharing God’s goodness with the world. “Listen, obey, talk, and write. At home and beyond, love God with your whole being.” Ours is not a stagnant faith, but one that is always growing as we live and learn the ways of Christ.
Lord of Life takes this command seriously by making life-long learning a priority. That’s right. Preschool kids, children, youth, teenagers, college students, newlyweds, mid-lifers, retired folks, and centenarians are all active learners at Lord of Life.
As you begin to fill your calendar with Fall activities, I encourage you to make room to continue living and learning in the faith. Consider stepping into a teaching role with Sunday School. Be a mentor with our teens. Plug into a Bible study. Pray for all in need. Commit to being generous with your finances. Step up to serving. Show up for worship. Jesus will meet you.
Living and learning in hope,