Devotions

A Sense of Community

By Mary Loudermilk
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“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. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (I Corinthians 12:25-27, English Standard Version)

We call it many things—body of Christ, family of God, household of faith, the church. Whatever phrase we use, it gives me joy to know that I’m included.

I wonder if we really appreciate the blessing of being part of the body of Christ. It’s more than just coming together at set times each week for worship and the Word. Complete strangers can do that. What I feel as I gather with other believers is a sense of community, a feeling of belonging. I’ve been physically separated from “my people” for several weeks now, but that sense of being part of something bigger than myself has not diminished. If anything, I appreciate each of them more.

What does community provide me? As I thought about my place in the body of Christ, I began to jot down thoughts on what community means to me. First Corinthians 12 and other scripture portions helped form these thoughts. You may have other things to add to this list.

  • I feel loved and appreciated.
  • I feel connected; I’m not alone.
  • I am accepted for who I am and free to be uniquely me.
  • I feel cared for and I care about others.
  • I am encouraged to grow and reach my potential in God.
  • I share a common bond; we are united.
  • I celebrate others and they celebrate me.
  • I feel respected and I respect others.
  • I feel safe, sheltered within my community.

Today is Sunday, the day I usually spend with these special people—my community, my family. Church, the true church, is so much more than just gathering for a worship service. Yes, that is part of it, but it encompasses so much more. Where I live currently still limits our ability to gather, but our sense of community has not diminished. While physically apart, we still love each other, celebrate each other, and reach out to help when needed. We are connected by the blood of Jesus Christ. Because of this bond, I feel loved, supported, and nurtured.

“So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5, ESV).

I am blessed!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of being part of Your family. I feel surrounded by love—Yours and that of my brothers and sisters. May I never forget how blessed I am to share life with this community of believers.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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