30 Apr The Gift Of Community
The spring season is typically packed with busy celebrations such as graduations and proms, nights on soccer fields and at ball games, weddings, and Mother’s Day! Instead, we find ourselves feeling the emotional strain of stay-at-home orders resulting in so many cancellations, carefully chosen dresses with tags left hanging in closets, gatherings as a church family limited to online, and added heartbreak when loved ones pass without the usual ability of family and friends to gather to reminisce and grieve together.
God didn’t intend for us to live in isolation, but instead designed us to experience the joys and sorrows of life together…within community. Galatians 6:2 challenges each of us to be in community with others who can comfort us, with its directive to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Another benefit of community is learning from each other and lifting each other up, as we see in Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” While we have to give up meeting together physically for this short season to help protect the health of others during this pandemic, the Bible promises that the Holy Spirit is present whenever believers gather together. We have the opportunity to do this online – leveraging technology to gather together virtually.
Hopefully soon we can resume the gift of meeting together, eating together and worshipping together in person, but in the mean time we can still experience community and embody the urgent need for encouraging those around us. As Dr. Seuss reminds us, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.” Even though this spring has taken an unexpected turn and brought challenges and disappointments, we can truly care for each other in the newhope family, and extend that care to our neighbors and our cities in simple ways and help provide life-giving encouragement and community. Let’s each take the time to care “a whole awful lot” and I can’t wait to see you online for part two of our series, No Place Like Home, this weekend starting Sunday at 8:45 and 10:45 am.
Amy Lynn Kelley
Executive Director of HOPE Missions and Extension Ministries