“Well, I guess it’s over!” the man said, exasperated and out of breath. “But there’s still time on the clock. We can’t give up now!” she responded with winded enthusiasm. That’s the problem with time. It has limits. When I think about it, it is consistent with almost everything we know about life.
Not everything has limits. Scientists tell us that the universe continues to expand even though the belief is that all energy that ever existed is already out there. The vast majority of us stand in awe. We don’t understand it and can’t explain it.
In an interview about his son Max after winning a national competition for solving Rubik’s cubes, Schwan Park said, “He looked like a kid who found his tribe.” On ABC’s World News the other night, Max’s father noted that once you find your tribe of people you connect with, the sky’s the limit.” Max Parker is autistic and recently set a new world record by solving a Rubik’s cube in just over 3 seconds.
Who is your tribe? First, a tribe extends beyond biological connections. The common ingredient is a mutual love for one another and a desire to do things together. An identity merges out of a tribe, even if no name is chosen to represent it.
Several years ago, a group living a couple blocks from Asbury found a common purpose in what they wanted their community to be like. They called their tribe the “Peace Mob.” I miss their enthusiasm and energy.
Schwan Park is on to something. When we’re part of a tribe, our connections resemble our ever-expanding universe. Whatever limits may still be limited, they’re out there waiting to be discovered. How does this happen, and how can we all be part of a tribe that goes beyond expected limits and enjoys record-setting accomplishments?
What better source for the answer than the One who created the ever-expanding universe.
“Let Us make humankind in Our image after Our likeness!” said God. “God and I are One,” said Jesus. Hmmm? Meanwhile, the Spirit hovered upon the surface of the water. “Is it possible?” Tasmin thought to herself.
As her novel nears the end, things start jelling for the main character of Angela Hunt’s novel, Daughter of Cana. While Tasmin is an imaginary character in a fictional book, her story is also a mirror for anyone hoping to find a tribe they belong to.
I am the way, the truth, and the life…Now that you know me, you know God…
The only spoiler alert necessary as we finish our companion book for this series is the specific details of characters that aren’t spelled out in scripture. Yet, every thought, action, and reaction we read reveals our struggles with imagining how an already massive universe keeps expanding. And how we can be a part of the expansion rather than a victim of downsizing. In other words, don’t we all prefer abundance over scarcity?
On the night that Jesus was arrested, He gave us all a summary glimpse of what was to come. Everything pointed to what followed but, like an ever-expanding universe, it is too much for us to wrap our heads around.
Follow the logic as Jesus laid it out at supper with His friends. First, notice the venue. They are gathered together for a meal. They are a tribe that chooses to spend time together and work together.
Second, Jesus uses an ordinary custom to teach the secret of abundance. Similar to today, it was customary to wash up before a meal. The feet of Jesus and His followers carried layers of dust and dirt from each road and pathway they traversed. And custom-mandated clean feet and hands at the supper table.
Hospitality customs included the host providing water and, in the case of wealthier hosts, a servant to wash the feet of guests. Jesus and His tribe weren’t well off. So Jesus washed the feet of each friend, one by one. They were flabbergasted. Jesus was their teacher, leader, and long-awaited Savior. Messiahs don’t wash feet, do they?
Later, during His toast, Jesus shares the secret to an ever-expanding universe and reveals the secret to abundance. Love God and love each other. And what does love look like? Love looks like a tribe of persons that matter to each other. They share a common connection. In this case, Jesus is talking about a tribe we call Christianity.
But Christianity is too much like the universe. The name represents hundreds of millions of diverse people and thoughts about what it means to say this is who I am. The name itself conjures both positive and negative images.
Nevertheless, this is a starting point. Our shared connection with other Christians is we believe that Jesus Christ is God. And Jesus makes it abundantly clear that if you know Him, you know God. Most importantly, if you love Him, you do as He teaches you.
Love is the key that opens the door to God’s abundance. Find Jesus and you will find your tribe. Find your tribe and do as Jesus teaches and your community will flourish.
You can join us each Sunday in person or online by clicking the button on our website’s homepage – Click here to watch. This button takes you to our YouTube channel. You can find more information about us on our website at FlintAsbury.org.
A reminder that we publish this newsletter that we call the Circuit Rider each week. You can request this publication by email. Send a request to connect@FlintAsbury.org or let us know when you send a message through our website. We post an archive of past editions on our website under the tab, Connect – choose Newsletters.
Our series was inspired by and relies on content provided by Angela Hunt. Daughter of Cana. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2020.
John Branch. “Children of the Cube.” © New York Times, August 15, 2018. Retrieved from: link
Emma Bowman. “He once had motor skill challenges. Now he’s the world’s fastest Rubik’s cube solver.” © NPR, June 20, 2023. Retrieved from: link