When we moved to our home here in a smaller city in Alabama, we hardly knew anyone. At our church, though, the people welcomed us unconditionally — even though we were strangers, outsiders, so to speak. That’s what the community of Christ does. When we are called to belong to God, we also belong to one another. St. Paul writes in I Corinthians 12 of us needing one another, supporting and helping one another. God sends us to each other, to meet needs and serve one another.
I personally experience the benefits of this community often. Just a few weeks ago, my husband and I were singing in the choir. Our almost-eighteen-month-old boy was being his usual squirmy self, so after the second song, I took him out to try to get him to fall asleep. This is a somewhat arduous task. It involves walking back and forth in the hallway, until the motion lulls him to sleep. He’s not the smallest of kids. Our pastor’s wife, after I had made one or two laps of the hallway, came out to ask if I would like her to take him for me. Normally, I like to try to be self-sufficient, but I’m slowly learning to accept these gifts that God sends to me. I gladly relinquished him to her capable care and went back into church to enjoy the sermon (perhaps the first time in several weeks).
Some people that I know believe that they can survive apart from this community, the Body of Christ. Now, we as Christians certainly can survive apart, but how sad I feel for those individuals, that they are not experiencing the benefits of this particular means that God has of providing for His children. And it’s not only about help with kids — as Christians, we receive spiritual encouragement, as well as social, emotional, physical, and mental benefit.
Thank You, Lord, for the community of believers into which we are called. Help us to appreciate Your goodness to us, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.