Christian Community – Advent Day 3

CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 15: 5-6

People's mandala - 12 handsEight years ago, I received a wonderful gift.  It was the gift of Christian community.  In the fall of 2004, I saw a display in our church about a group of women that was forming to study the first book in the Companions in Christ series.  There were ten of us in that group.  What I found was a grace-filled environment and boy, was the Holy Spirit at work!  Our small group is still going strong.  Every time we are together, there is love and acceptance. We have formed a sisterhood built on sharing our lives as we share the love of Christ.  We are family and we feel at home with one another. Friends working together

Over the years we have laughed, cried and prayed together.  We have supported each other by providing whatever is needed like meals, caring for pets and planting a flower garden to cheer a friend whose husband passed away. We have had many wonderful experiences together including going to meditate at the Stations of the Cross in the beautiful outdoor area at Little Flower Catholic Church, going to the bead shop and making jewelry, learning how to make applesauce and then canning it and walking a 5K for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  Probably the best thing, though, is that whenever any of us is in need of prayer, we know our sisters are just a phone call, text or an email away.  We know we can count on each other.

Through our studies we have discovered God-given gifts that we employ as leaders of Faith Church with a sense of energy and fulfillment. These gifts have drawn us even more deeply into community.

Our small group now meets away from the church at a local restaurant where we share a meal, study the Bible and other books and pray together.  I hope that others eating at the restaurant see us praying together, that they see us share the love of Christ with each other, and see how much fun we have together. We are the face of Jesus in our community.

Think about joining a small group or starting one of your own.  God would like to give you the gift of Christian community too.

Companions in Christ prayer:

Light of Christ,
Shine on our path,
Chase away all darkness,
And lead us to the heart of God.

AMEN   

 Lauralee Stiffler

 In what ways have you experienced Christian community? Click on ‘leave a comment’ or ‘reply here’ and share your story!

Advertisements

About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
This entry was posted in Devotions, Discipleship, Spiritual Practices and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Christian Community – Advent Day 3

  1. Anonymous says:

    In college, I found myself in a the midst of an amazing group of girls. We, not only, were roommates and friends, but we were swords to help sharpen one another. We were the friends who asked the hard questions of each other – forced each other to really think about our actions vs. our beliefs. These girls are still my girls. My best friends who allow me to ask and answer the hard questions. It is amazing how much I grew throughout college and every time we are together because of this strong sense of community and sharpening. I am so thankful that we are designed to live this way – in community.

  2. Sandy Vaughn says:

    I just read your Advent story. It made me so happy to be part of your memories and your now and your future!! God chose us to be together for many reasons. Had we done the picking ourselves I doubt we would have chosen each other, since we are so different (as evidenced by our names)! But together we form a well rounded group. God is so Wise and Wonderful!!

  3. Steve Stultz Costello says:

    A beautiful testimony of the power of community found through being in a small group. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s