A CALL TO COMMUNITY
Key Scripture: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” —Proverbs 27:17
Some Sunday mornings, it’s all I can do to get out the door and get to church on time. One such Sunday a couple of years ago, I skated in just as the 5-minute countdown started, whew! I was volunteering for the prayer team that day, so I set my stuff in the prayer area, looking around for someone I knew, when I noticed a woman around my age with a similar hairstyle sitting alone in the back of the church.
I am an outgoing person, but even I struggle when going up to complete strangers. I gathered up the courage and walked up to this woman to introduce myself. We chatted for a few minutes and I invited her to come to women’s ministry, which had just started a new session a week earlier.
About five years prior to meeting this sweet woman, someone else had invited me to an event at church. I had just gone through a bitter divorce that included infidelity and betrayal. In that season I felt so broken and alone. I was a Christian, but I felt like God was a million miles away.
After the event, I got plugged into a women’s ministry group. The women in the group were kind and loving and so accepting of me, even though I spent half of the time the first session crying. I continued going to the group and several other groups available at church. Over the course of the next several years I was able to heal and forgive myself and my ex-husband.
After two years of attending women’s ministry, I was asked to lead a group of my own. If I am being honest, I felt nervous and unqualified, but I had also developed a passion to help women. The woman that I had met at church started attending one of those early sessions.
As time went on she and the other ladies in the group would share their own struggles and we got to know each other’s stories. We shared, we loved, we learned, and we did life together. I was able to walk with the woman I have bravely invited through addiction and depression, and I was also to see her lean into God’s healing and restoration. Last Easter, I had the amazing honor of baptizing her and five other women from my women’s group.
Jesus gave us the ultimate example of what it is like to live in community with each other. Jesus had several close friends. Three of his closest friends were a group of sibling’s names, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. John 11:5 tells us that Jesus loved them. John 11:35 even tells us Jesus wept with them.
As we experience and live life in Christian community the hope is that we will grow in strength and bravery. Through this growth we should become stronger and sharper and be able to engage in not only evangelism—which is sharing our faith with others, but also apologetics—which is sharing “why” we have faith with others.
Steps of Faith: Thank you, Lord, that you love me despite all of my faults and weaknesses. Lord, I ask that you help me to love my neighbors with that same kind of love that you have extended towards me. Lord help me to see those I encounter everyday through your eyes. Show me practical ways that I can help and love them, and through that love, point them to you. Help me to put aside my agenda Lord and to simply love them, to meet them where they are and to love them as you love them. Amen.
Deeper Walk Scripture: Hebrews 10:24-25, Matthew 18:20, Acts 2:42