As many of you know, we’ve had some very difficult losses in our community as of late. Some have been public losses that are felt keenly by friends, family and the broader populous; while other losses are deeply personal and maybe not in the public eye.
Regardless of the type of loss, these are still losses nonetheless, and it’s in these moments where we’re often left reeling, wondering why or how, and truly considering what it looks like to even take another step, let alone what it means to look ahead to next week, or next year.
We’re left with so many questions, many of which simply cannot be answered on this side of eternity. These questions can become consuming, and we can be hyper-focused on the hurt and pain, often not being able to see around it.
This is where community comes in. You see, we are born from community — we come from the union of two. We are raised in community — usually in a family, or among friends and supports. We are born from community, into community, for community.
It’s in these hard times that we must remember community, and that we are not made to go at it alone.
In the beginning of the Bible, we see the ancient writings depict where we came from. We read the words of God as He declares, “Let us make man in our own image …”
This seems like a puzzling statement. A singular God distinctly says, “Let us …” What does that mean?
The name for God, in the Hebrew language, is Elohim. Those last two letters, “im” denote a plural attribute — but how can this be if God is recognized as singular throughout scripture?
What this means is that we see the embodiment of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, operating together in the profound oneness of the person of God. God wanted and still wants community with us, and so out of community He brought us into community — and it is in this community that we live and breathe.
This is a long way to say that we are actually made to be together. All of us. We’re made to come along side one another — love, support, care for, and champion one another. We’re also made to do life together, but also to mourn along side each other.
This brings me back to the beginning: our community has experienced loss and we experience it together.
Where you may be in a season of feeling healthy and full of life and vitality, there are others who are not and they may need a top-up. This is how we can do that: we can take what we have an abundance of and share it with those who may be depleted. We do this interest-free, no charge, and generously. Why? Because we have been freely given life, so we too must freely give life. We give this by offering time, talents, and treasure to those around us who are hurting.
So, to bring this to a close, I want to encourage us — we, the community — to be beacons of hope in the lives of those who are in a dark season. It’s not too hard to do, and it can actually further the brightness of your day when you share that light with someone else. Really, it’s not about you, but others.
Thank you for being an amazing community, and keep giving that beautiful gift of hope to those that need it.
James McFaddin is the pastor of New Life Church.
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