On July 25 2002, nine coal miners entered Que Creek Mine in Somerset County in Pennsylvania. As they were drilling at about 9am, 240 million litres of water burst into their tunnel and trapped them 74 metres underground. In a desperate race against time 200 rescuers worked to save the trapped miners. They were caught in a small chamber just over 1.2 metres high and 5.5 metres wide in freezing, minus 12 degree water. The miners decided early on they were either going to survive or die as a group and miraculously they were all rescued 77 hours later. The freezing water threatened to kill them slowly by hypothermia, so when one of them got cold, the other eight would gather around them and warm them up. “Everyone had strong moments and everyone had weak moments,” surviving miner Harry Mayhugh told reporters. “But when anyone went down, the rest pulled together. And then when that person got back up, they would then step in to help someone else. It was a team effort. It’s the only way we managed to survive.” In Galatians 5:14 Paul summed up the law of Christ by saying “Love your neighbour as yourself.” In Galatians 6:2 he gives us a great example of how to do that. “Carry each an
other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” There is no doubt that sometimes there are days and seasons of life that are tough. Times when we feel alone, overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, hopeless or
heavy-hearted. But God, in His ever-gracious, all-loving, and all-knowing way is always there to help us. He has given us Christ, which is the greatest gift of all. He’s also given us His promises which fill us with hope,
and gives us the strength and courage to face those hard days. He gives us prayer which allows us to cry out to Him when ever we want. But He ALSO gives us friends. Friends who know us and take the time to listen. Friends who let us cry in front of them and who remind us of the hope when we have. Friends who pray for us when we’re too weak and show us grace when we fail. Friends who notice when we’re sad and hurting, and stop to ask us why. Friends who take us out to coffee when we’re having a hard day. Friends who send us a card just to let us know we’re loved. Paul is telling us here to be that friend to our brothers and sisters in Christ. God doesn’t call us to live the Christian life by ourselves. He calls us to live it in a loving community of other believers. To look out for each other and lift each up and thus fulfil the law of Christ. The law of Christ is not primarily about a list of dos and don’ts. The law of Christ is to love others as He so abundantly loves you. Jesus gets so much delight and glory
when we love those around us – when we think of them, serve them, pray for them, cry with them, hug them and warm them. God bless, Pastor John.

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