Friday, August 27, 2021

Small Groups are a Sealant


The process of waterproofing a basement can vary from house to house. For some homeowners, the task lasts a mere few days. For others, the battle could drag on for a span of multiple agonizing years. Various factors contribute to the journey, including the craftsmanship of the home’s original builders, the characteristics of the plot of land that the house was built upon, the weather conditions of the area, or even the age of the house.

While my wife and I have not experienced any waterproofing concerns in our time of owning a house, I nonetheless made a bit of extra effort these last few years by sealing the perimeter of our home. While there is a concrete driveway and some concrete slabs that surround the entire perimeter of our house, time has taken its toll on the hardened cement and gaps have emerged. To lessen the amount of water that seeps into the foundation and to help prevent an increasing water table from developing, I decided to purchase and apply self-leveling sealant along the cracks between the house and the adjacent driveway/concrete slabs.

Attending a small group within the church is a bit like waterproofing our homes. A small leak through the basement walls, while tolerable at first, could over time cause more structural and foundational damage to the home. This, in turn, can lead to more cracks, more leaks and more flooding (alongside other concerns such as mold buildup, damage to belongings, or depreciation of the property’s value). Similarly, sinful habits that begin as an occasional occurrence may start small. However, the spiritual reality that we experience on this earth is that the slow fester of sin has the potential to snowball into an uncontrollable force that can lead us to ruin (James 1:15).  

When pouring the sealant, some sections of the perimeter can have small gaps, while other sections may have gaping chasms that need to be filled by rocks and/or sections of backer rod first before proceeding. We can relate, as certain seasons require only a thin line of sealant to cover the gaps in our spiritual lives, whereas other times we find ourselves in need of a drastic overhaul of our behaviors and /or environments in order to recalibrate our relationship with the Lord.

Sealant doesn’t likely come in many colors, and depending on the brick color of the house that we have, pouring a sealant that doesn’t match our home’s colors may end up negatively affecting the curb appeal of the property. Yet just as how it is more important to have a dry basement than a pretty exterior, it is crucial for our souls to have a holy vitality that thrives in the Spirit and is allowed to live free, unburdened by any mold or rot of heart. Even though the driveway may not look as good as the day that the cement was poured and even though our fellow group members see a bit more into our past when we share our hearts, our lives will grow more righteous and we are able to weather the heavier storms of life that would have otherwise flooded our houses.

Yet sealant isn’t forever, and as time passes, cracks begin to emerge. One day when doing yardwork, we are surprised to discover a weed growing out of the tiniest hole that had emerged within the layer of sealant. Indeed, homeowners are well aware of the fact that one’s yardwork is never done and such a weed can serve as an indication that it is time to dig it out and pour some new sealant over the area once again. Similarly, the busyness of the day-to-day can sometimes pull us away from community for a year or two at a time. The weeds that sprout within our lives can serve as key indicators to inform us that it is now once again time to return to fellowship, thereby allowing us to enjoy life with one another as God had intended: in community, nurturing and pursuing transformational relationships with one another as we together give praise and glory to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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