October 19, 2021
Devotions from Judy’s heart
We are all called to community life when we know the Lord and through it we experience more of the fullness of His love for us and for one another. What a witness it is to the world when they see Christians getting along and caring for one another, helping one another in our brokenness, and living together in harmony. Paul says in I Cor. 12: 25-26 (ESV), “that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” That sounds like a lot of vulnerability and the Body is a place for healing to happen as we become more whole.
Friends of ours lived in community for years and that meant accepting group standards and goals and doing a whole lot of dying to self. Even though we may not choose to be part of monastic life or some community experience of living together as they did, we are still to be part of a community where we can give and receive love, where we get healing for our wounds, where we learn to serve and be served.
Michael Casey, a monk in Australia, writes about what it means to renounce self-will and our narcissistic egocentric attitudes that keep people apart and keep us from living from our deep center. God calls us all to no longer live for ourselves but for Him and for others. Casey said that it may show up in letting our selfishness being replaced by sensitivity, conflict replaced with harmony, stalemate replaced by dialogue, obstinacy being replaced by adaptability, aggression replaced by patience etc. Within the church and other fellowship groups it will mean doing lots of listening on our part and trying to hear where the other person is coming from, even welcoming our differences. Respect is necessary especially when our views differ and we are to be polite and courteous without pushing our preferences.
All of us have been given gifts to be used for life in community and to share them and use them for His glory. We don’t need to be envious of other’s gifts but delight in them and also accept our own to be used to benefit others. Gifts that are given by the Lord belong to us all.
Yes, community is challenging, but perhaps it is the gift that most helps us grow deeply in our relationship to the Lord and what demonstrates to the world of His love.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to help you be a loving open member of His community of love.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy