Read some reflections on the book by CPC members.
I too have enjoyed “Closer than A Sister,” and I look forward to delving into it more as a summer study. I am excited that our Women’s Ministry is focused on becoming a closer community, and I see us going in more of a direction of mercy ministry and extending compassion. Chapter 3 – The Sisterhood of Faith – Fox describes what fellowship should look like. In Acts, it is sharing a common life together. I think women’s ministries can become too focused on what the event is supposed to look like and who is doing what work or who isn’t doing the work. Fox suggests instead, “it’s not about doing activities… but sharing life. It’s about serving together, helping each other through trials, lifting each other up when we fall, praying for one another, urging one another on in the faith. And ultimately, it is reflecting Christ in our love for one another.”
I look forward to studying alongside my sisters in Christ.
My blood sister tragically died at 22. We were two years apart and extremely close. Reading books with the word or phrase containing ‘sister’ always grabs my attention…grabs my heart. From an early age, I intuitively felt we were created for community, but my definition was murky as to why exactly. I’ve grown in understanding, but recently reading Christina Fox’s book crystalized it for me. As she takes her readers through those various stages and phases, the conclusion draws and wraps it up perfectly. Jesus is our perfect and forever friend. He has loved you and me from before time began. What love is this? The Spurgeon quote at the end, “And how long has Christ loved you? That you cannot tell. When the ages were not born he loved you; when this world was an infant, wrapped in the swaddling clothes of mist, he loved you; when the old pyramids had not begun to be builded, his heart was set upon you; and ever since you have been born he has had a strong affection for you. He looked on you in your cradle, and he loved you then; he was affianced to you when you were an infant of a span long, and he has loved you ever since.”
I had to look up affianced. It means betrothed. Our first, true and forever friend. So lovely.
So while I ‘lost’ my first older sister, God has blessed me immeasurably in the gift of His Son. And then gave me an earthly, spiritual sister/friend that knows all my stories, knows all my warts, sees the chaff, and chooses to blow it all away anyway. And she loves cheese and puffy tacos. Really doesn’t get any better.
Christina Fox’s new book, Closer Than a Sister, is an important call to the women of the Church for closeness of fellowship in this age of distant friendships. Social media may lull us into believing that we have lots of friends, but friends with whom we communicate through our screens, sharing carefully curated photos and snippets, can’t look into our eyes and see that something is weighing on our hearts, they can’t give us a timely hug, or drop by (usually) with fresh muffins or dinner when needed.
We need the compassionate community of our sisters in Christ. These are our sisters with whom we share a bond closer than the blood that runs in our veins, because we have been bought by the blood of the Lamb. We not only share life now, but we will share eternity in heaven, together singing the praises of our Savior! As Christina writes:
“What a unique community we get to be a part of! Like different colored threads, we are woven together to create a beautiful tapestry. My strand crosses with a sister in my church and our strands connect to your strand across the miles. We are knit together and part of the same whole.” (p. 45)
In the book, Closer Than a Sister by Christina Fox, she encourages her readers to have life giving relationships with their Sisters in Christ. We should reflect Christ in our love for one another. She states how we as sisters in Christ can develop these relationships by serving others together, helping those in need, praying for one another, lifting one another up when we face trials, rejoicing with one another, and encouraging each other in the faith.
Closer Than a Sister by Christina Fox is book that all women in the church should read. I encourage you to take the study with Jana Henry this summer.
This is what “Closer Than A Sister” impressed upon me:Just as our Savior came to serve, we should do the same. How do we do that in our sister relationships? We share in helping, mourning, rejoicing, exhorting, learning, and growing together. When Jesus walked on earth, He did all these things. What a better way to serve than to emulate His actions!
Christina Fox notes that our friendships in the church family are so much more than mere activities. She says we are “sharing life”. She is not afraid to admit the ups and downs of this, the messiness of human relationships, the pain that will happen at times. However, this book opens our eyes and hearts to the joys and the necessity of loving friendships in the family of God.
Scripture charges us to love and pray for one another. In “Closer than a Sister” Christina Fox says: we saw in the Bible the conflicts of the apostles–remember, we are ONE in Christ, we don’t have to agree on everything. Since Adam’s fall –all conflict in church breaks our unity with one another and all such conflict is caused by sin. Where weeds of sin make their way into our fellowship, it grows like kudzu.
Summer Study Schedule
July 11 – Part I. A Community of Faith (page 23-61)
Made For Community
United to Christ and One Another
The Sisterhood of Faith
July 18 – Part II. Living with Sisters in Community (pg. 65-102)
Sisters Help Each Other
Sisters Mourn Together
Sisters Rejoice Together
July 25 – Part II. Living with Sisters in Community (pg. 105-144)
Sisters Exhort One Another
Sisters Learn From One Another
Sisters Grow Together
August 1 – Part III. Challenges in Sisterhood (pg.147-171)
Challenges to Community
August 8 – Part III. Challenges in Sisterhood (pg. 173-191)
Barriers to Community
The Perfect Friend
Read the assigned portion for each week. Look over the Questions to Consider at the end of each chapter and be ready to discuss when you come on Wednesday.