After reading Tim Keller's Generous Justice and spending (inevitably) time in Galatians I've been pondering what it means to 'bear one anothers burdens'. Keller's book shows what the implications of the gospel might look like in defending the oppressed though doesn't perhaps always show the way the gospel drives that, though his earlier The Prodigal God does that stunningly.
To bear one another's burdens...
On the one hand I could give from an excess that I have to meet someone's need. I think that's valuable but not the same thing. Carrying one another isn't just about money but perhaps can be made sense of in that way. If I am rich and my riches can cancel your debt that is good but not quite the same as the gospel. God could have upped the blessings he was lavishing upon us, but he did something more.
If I can clear your debts but the result is that I'm now in debt then I'm carrying what you were carrying. That is costly. That might me I'm long term indebted to set you free from it. Scarred and marked by love. I can't help but wonder if that's more the mark of the Christian community. After all, Jesus bore my burdens and it was fatal to him. I should have died but he died. I should have been broken but he was broken. He loved me and that meant he gave himself up for me. Not just casting me some of his riches but giving himself for me. Would I do the same for the church family?
I need the Spirit to lead me again to the cross to die to my self, to know that the me with all its concerns that I'm so bothered about died with Christ to live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me - to bring me into a new family, a new creation existence, a whole new world with whole new ways of doing things that if embraced wont make a whole lot of sense to the watching world and will make perfect sense. A life lived within the community of the Father, Son and Spirit where loved abounds and gives, never more than the way that it was given for me at the cross of Christ.