The ‘Embrace’ stage of the Safari
The CITAM discipleship journey dubbed the Safari has been indeed exciting and enlightening to say the least. After going through the Enter and Encounter stages, we are now in another season of learning to love one another, or the love agenda of discipleship.
What manner of love the Father has granted to us? In John 13: 34-35, the scripture reminds us that “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This stage of the Safari is about “to love” and calls us to be intentional in befriending the ‘unlovable’
There is no greater commandment than that of love towards one another. While sometimes, even believers struggle to embrace or love all and sundry unconditionally, the call to bond is the epitome and demonstration of our faith and love to the Almighty God.
Needless to say, true fellowship is well blended when both the taste and test of love are integrated. None of us desires to be hated, disliked or stigmatized in any way. In other words, love stands out as a universal spiritual and emotional human need. As much as we anticipate to be loved, are we ready or willing at any given time, to extend love or embrace other people across the board? Lessons in the Embrace Stage are structured in such a way that the students of the word of God are both challenged and equipped to practice love to mankind.
It leaves us thoughtful when we read 1 John 4: 8-9: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” The love of God cannot be compared or likened to anything else. He sought for us in our sinful nature. He send His only begotten Son to redeem the world from the quagmire of sin. The Lord embraced all of us irrespective of our sinful nature! Hence, as we embrace and mutually bond with other people who may not necessarily be like us, it is a vivid show of our love to God.
Whereas Apostle Paul passionately wrote divine letters to the early church at Corinth to warn them against lack of authentic love in their congregations, the Holy Spirit is reminding us the same in the 21st century. Let the Embrace stage of the Safari open up our inner spiritual eyes to ‘see’ and ears to ‘hear and understand’ the will of God pertaining love to one another.
Altogether, we are going to cover seven lessons as listed below:
Lesson 1: Understanding Christian Love
Lesson 2: Embracing Love and Friendship
Lesson 3: Understanding cultural Diversity
Lesson 4: Embracing Cultural Diversity
Lesson 5: Extending Compassion and Care
Lesson 6: Going the Extra Mile
Lesson 7: Embracing Mentorship-Raising the next generation
We wish you an insightful discipleship journey this season!