Three times in the past week I have had the great pleasure of spending time with people who share my religious convictions. It really brought home to me the importance of not only community, but also authentic Christian community.
We celebrate each other’s good fortune. We help to bear the weight of each other’s pain. We reach out a hand in friendship and love, and we become the body of Christ for each other.
I can't imagine how difficult it would be to have to live in this world that is so anti Christian at the moment without these people to help me remain strong in my convictions. Whenever I wonder if I am truly doing God's will in my life, these are the people I go to for support, affirmation and even chastisement when it is necessary. I trust the judgment of these people, so I know that when I am in doubt they will help me to see the right path that I should take.
Jesus came to show us the way to the Father, and that way is in community, not alone. If all I do in my walk of faith is care about my getting to heaven, and spend all of my concern on my own salvation, then I have completely missed the point to being a Christian in the first place.
So, when I say my prayers this evening I am going to thank God for giving me this wonderful community of believers to which I belong. My life of faith is constantly enriched and challenged by them.