Janna Saavedra wrote earlier in the Thanksgiving series about community. She focused on the Godly relationships found within Life Groups and the Church. Today Victory Ludwig focuses our attention on the community outside of the church building.
Today I was struck by the deep gratitude I have for the community in which God has placed me. And though this is not something that we all get to enjoy in every season of our lives, I urge you to look into your community, ask for fresh eyes to see people as God does, and to know where to invest your time and heart. Pray for eyes to see where your community lies, and where you can be used in meaningful ways to touch the lives that rub up against yours. How often do we pass the same people day after day, perhaps offering a smile or a wave, but never going beyond that? Your home, your school, your workplace, your family’s favorite park, your trusted mechanic, your go-to grocery store – these are all places where God has directed your steps to bring His Good News. Whether it be in word or deed, or in the prayers you say as you drive down your street, you can be a blessing to those that God has put in close proximity to you.
com·mu·ni·ty : a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
Oh, how I love this… it truly warms my heart. Perhaps it is because I so clearly remember seasons of loneliness. I often felt alone and isolated in my younger years. I lacked the community that I saw others enjoying. I learned how to stand by myself, building an inner strength and conviction that served me well. But still, I was lonely.
And now, I am so acutely aware of the depth of community I have around me. I have set my roots deep, and I am reaping the rewards – in our church, in my neighborhood, in our school. I truly love the people with whom I get to share life. Last week, I was in desperate need of my village, and they showed up. This week, I’ve enjoyed the laughter and company of like-minded women in different places and formats. I am so grateful for the years of commitment and investment into the lives we touch. It has not always been easy or tidy. I have not always wanted to open up and be vulnerable. But I am seeing and living in the fruit of the efforts and of the obedience.
This is what makes the South Bay our home. I love this place. I love it for its diversity. I love it for its predictability.
I am thankful for my neighborhood, the families, the widows, the faces I see every day on my circuit.
I am thankful for King’s Harbor. I love the high standards for commitment and holiness. I love a staff that leads by example, and loves by serving.
I am thankful for our school. I love my old friends, and my new friends. I am thankful for the families that know you, and I am blessed by the ones to which we have the responsibility of being Christ’s representatives. I love the trust I have built there, and I am convicted by what is entrusted to us.
These friendships make life richer, fuller, and blessed. They are worth the wait, and though I didn’t know it then, I know it now. Let’s walk in the conviction and privilege of what it is to be salt and light, to change the world around us, however big that world might be.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:34-35