Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. I come in such thankfulness for the blessings of fellowship, friendship and love of my faith community. It is so strengthening to share the faithfulness of united hearts. I was blessed to attend Community of Christ’s World Conference this last week where roughly 60 countries were represented. The delegates in front of me represented the Pacific Islands and before we adjourned the conference, I had been blessed by Rajini from the Fiji Islands and Ral from Hawaii, whom I had never before met. I saw friends whom I’d lost touch with several decades before, a woman who had been a youth when I served as Youth Group Leader about 40 years ago. I reunited with friends who had lived in the DC area, but who now resided in Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Colorado, Oregon and Washington state.
I share this because I want to testify about the value of being in a faith community following the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Peaceful One, with hearts united in purpose. Together we advocated for the refugees, examined our role in Climate Change, and addressed our responsibilities while having difficult conversations of racial, ethnic and gender injustice. Do you have such a community, one in which you can grow and offer opportunities to others to grow in Christ-like behavior and values.
The disciples had such a group as they traveled with Jesus. It must have been such an amazing bond of “family”. Their conviction of faith, although severely tested, was strengthened by having one another – a strong lesson for us today. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we read, “And 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—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We need each other. We find great value and strength in our community of faithful believers. In Romans 1:11-12, we are told, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. In Romans 12:5 we are told, “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
This is the strength of participating in a faith-filled community. It doesn’t preclude us from reaching out to others who have not pursued or been introduced to a spiritual path. But as one body we gain strength, knowledge, and a treasure of gifts that enhance our abilities to do more in Christ’s name.
Seek the fellowship of a faith community. Find the light of Jesus in others. Then share it with the world.
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.