The Beauty of Community
On September 1, we celebrated my mom’s 91st birthday – ice cream, cake, BBQ and kale salad. (Who could ask for better than kale salad?) Truthfully, I love when I see so many generations in one room enjoying the presence of each other. Watching so many gather around my mom and lavish love on her and watching those same people gather around her great grandbaby of 13 months and lavish love on him was certainly a highlight.
Watching that gentle, abundant love across the generations made this passage from Hosea stand out to me. The picture of God, our gentle and loving Father, teaching, loving, and feeding His beloved children.
“It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they do not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” Hosea 11: 3-4
What a lovely picture of our God toward His creation, His people! In making community a priority, we begin to see the beauty and miracles of Christ in the people and situations that surround us. We learn from Christian sages who have walked with God through many trials and valleys. They consistently lead the way in worshipping a mighty God who proves Himself faithful.
We learn from the fiery strength of young believers of all ages who look to the creative and mighty God for their strength. They forge bravely ahead, trusting in a powerful God who always keeps His promises.
We learn from those who are far from God, yet beloved and drawn to Him. They challenge the accepted answers with hard questions that push faith and belief to the level of the heart.
We learn from our kind and gentle Father who teaches us, taking us by the arms, healing us from our broken hearts, from our wounds, from unrealized dreams. His ties of love draw us away from worship of lesser things, and lift us to His compassion. His Holy Spirit willingly feeds us spiritual truth that empowers us to walk in His love.
How we need each other to see the perfection of our heavenly Father! This community, built by the Lord, is one that can shine a bright light of love and hope in a dark world. This community, strengthened by the truth of the gospel, is one that can point those far from God toward a mighty conqueror and friend. This community, empowered and called by God, is one that has meaning and purpose under the guidance of our loving Heavenly Father. We are His! I love growing in Christ alongside of you! - Caroline Poe, Minister of Discipleship & Pastoral Care
P.S. Yes, that is a rotary phone in the background. And yes, it still works and is used often!
P.S.S. In the picture Steve, me, mom, Zach and his girlfriend Rita.