Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News... Philippians 1:27
I love living in a small town. When something happens everyone knows about it. When something good happens we all share in the joy. When something bad happens everyone's heart breaks. I am proud of my community and what we stand for. When someone comes to live in our town, we adopt them as one of our own. They have to show they too are dedicated to us. Once they do, they are a part of us. We raise our kids together, we grow old together, and we live life together.
The community of Christ should be just like small town America. We should have that small town dedication to each other. We should share our joy and mourning. It's not just enough to live as a Christian. We are a part of a community of Christians that are interconnected by a loving savior, Jesus Christ. How much more powerful are those connections than the connections from where we live here on Earth? As a matter of fact, we are a community of nomads just traveling through this life to get to our permanent "promised land" in Heaven. As we go, we need to adopt others into our community so they can come with us to our final resting place. These adopted community members need to follow our beliefs. They need to study and learn the foundations of the faith and then integrate them into their lives. It is a steady trip we take together. We learn and grow together. None of us is perfect and we need to make sure we accept the imperfections of others, just like we are imperfect. We need to support our community, not criticize and judge. We are one!
Dear Lord, Thank you for my local community. Thank your for the dedication of neighbors and friends to make all of our lives better. I also praise you for the community of believers. I praise you that I have a group of people I call friends in the faith. I love how we live life together, how we support each other through the mountains and the valleys, and I love how we center our lives around you. Thank You Lord for all that means to me! Amen!