For many of you the summer is just about or now over. You’ve had your share of adventures, camps, reunions, spec and sleeping in until the afternoon. As you prepare for the beginning of another new school year, you turn the page on summer and prepare for chapter in life. Now just as we prepare for projects, homework, exams, new jobs, and new friendships, each stage in our life God prepares us for new works. Each day we are tasked to create community and share God’s love. The question that often arises in my mind is how that can be done. How to reach out to others, to hear their story, and share yours. It’s time to dive in.
This week’s scripture comes from the book of Matthew 4: 18-22
“18 While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. 19 Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” 20 Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. 21 Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. 22 Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.”
I’ve always found the best way to get started on something is to just do it. However, getting started can be confusing and scary. This can leave us discouraged. When we talk to others about our faith, it can make them uneasy and it’s easy to fear losing those. What is the hardest thing about sharing your faith? Do you feel that your friends (or people in general) are open to your beliefs? How do you combat these obstacles?
Jesus came to his disciples and asked them to drop everything. Fishing was their livelihood, how they fed their families. They exchanges their nets for a gospel of inspiration, mercy and love. What would you give up for your mission of Christ?
Blessings of Community
Just as a reminder from last week, Community of Christ’s enduring principle of
- The gospel of Jesus Christ is expressed best in community life where people become vulnerable to God’s grace and each other.
- True community includes compassion for and solidarity with the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.
- True community upholds the worth of persons while providing a healthy alternative to self-centeredness, isolation, and conformity.
- Sacred community provides nurture and growth opportunities for all people, especially those who cannot fully care for themselves.
- We value our connections and share a strong sense of trust in and belonging with one another—even if we never have met.
- Some disciples are called and ordained to particular priesthood responsibilities and ministries for the sake of the community, the congregation, and the world.
- We are called to create communities of Christ’s peace in our families and congregations and across villages, tribes, nations, and throughout creation.
What does blessings of community mean to you? Should all communities look the same? Matthew 18:20 tells us that when two are more are gathered in Christ, he is there. While going alone or just with a couple of friends to create community can seem impossible, know that the spirit is always there to lead you.
Take a few minutes to watch the video below. As you watch, ponder what communities you wish to create and what obstacles may stand in your way.
Though some of you have heard this prayer before, I find that it is a helpful reminder of how to prepare ourselves to go out each day in the world.
“God, where will your Spirit lead today? Help me to be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me courage to risk something new and become a blessing of your love and peace. Amen”
As you enjoy your last week(s) of summer or start your new school years, may you embrace the challenge of creating community with everyone you meet and extend God’s gracious love and acceptance.