You could build Stonehenge by yourself … but why?
We’ve wondered for eons how (and why) prehistoric people built Stonehenge. We live in an age of cranes and massive machinery, and we marvel at the brawn and ingenuity of our ancient ancestors to pull this off. Surely, we’re smarter than them, right? After all, we’ve got the smarts to do complicated physics calculations, create Caterpillar dozers, and produce Reality TV shows like The Bachelor.
One man has shown how he could build Stonehenge—by himself!
I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m impressed. (Of course, I wonder what his neighbors think. “Hey, Gladys, he’s at it again!”)
I like building furniture. It’s a hobby that keeps me from pushing massive stones around my front yard. I have many occasions when I’ve got to handle something large and bulky. I have found ways to do it by myself, but if my son happens to be around the house, I’ll enlist his help. (If he’s not around, I whine pathetically and my wife will help.) I can do it by myself, but why if assistance is close by?
This principle is helpful on those Saturdays I’m covered in sawdust, but it is critical in my relationships.
“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
We all carry burdens. These are more than responsibilities. My responsibilities are those things that only I can do. Paul wrote a few verses later: “For each person will have to carry his own load” (v. 5). Our burdens can be quite varied, and these are the things that weigh us down.
- A father has the responsibility of being a parent to his special needs child, but he carries the burden of meeting all the challenges that accompany those special needs.
- A single mother has the responsibility of providing for her kids, but she carries the burden of being there to help her kids with homework or getting them to school because she is working two jobs.
- The pastor has the responsibility to feed and shepherd the flock, but he carries a burden of making hospital visits, preparing his sermon, and counseling a discouraged church member—all on the same day.
The law of Christ is to love one another (John 13:34), and we love others when we walk alongside them and help carry their burden. It’s still their burden, but we ease the weight of it when we help.
That’s the idea behind the word koinonia. If you’ve been a believer for a while, you are likely familiar with this Greek word we often use for “fellowship.” Fellowship is a part of koinonia, but the idea goes much deeper. Koinonia means to share in common. As followers of Christ, we have koinonia because we share in common a relationship with Christ. We are made one in Him.
Since we are one in Christ, your burdens affect me. In one sense, they become my burden. Koinonia means that we’re in this Christian life together. Ultimately, your burden is still your burden, but the law of Christ—love—compels me to share it.
There are countless practical ways we can carry one another’s burdens.
- Share a meal.
- Babysit the kids.
- Visit the hospital.
- Clean the house of someone recovering from surgery.
- Change the oil in a widow’s car.
- Mow a neighbor’s yard.
I can’t think of a more profound way to show we love one another. Words are helpful. Handshakes (or whatever we’re doing in our COVID-19 world) are nice, but when you walk alongside me and do something practical to help me, that’s a tangible expression of love that goes beyond words.
Here’s a fun blog about Stonehenge: Bought on a Whim.
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