Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:25-28
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Have you ever been part of a team that accomplished something difficult together? Maybe a sports team or a drama team - or a team at work or a missions team? When you work together with other people to do something difficult and meaningful together, you form this bond with each other that wouldn't happen otherwise. There is this sense of camaraderie and brotherhood/sisterhood.
As I read these closing lines of 1 Thessalonians, that is what impacts me. I feel like you can just sense the power of community in these words.
I love how Paul refers to them as family: as brothers and sisters. Some of these are people he probably hasn't even met! And yet because they are in this struggle (the struggle of bringing God's message of hope to the world) together they are family. Sight unseen. He, the apostle, is asking his family members for prayer. I love that modeling of how we live our lives together. We lean on each other for prayer, fellowship, counsel, and encouragement. He also calls them to greet each other in love, and to read the word together.
All of this for me sounds like....you guessed it....the church! This is the spiritual family that we are called to be part of. This community of believers is a place for each of us to find family, to be prayed for, to belong and be loved, and study God's word together.
So the question for you this morning is, do you know this community in your life? Just like we tell little kids about friendship, "you have to be a friend to make a friend," we have to show up for community in order for community to show up for us.
Are you showing up for community? In what ways are you making yourself available to Christian community? In what ways are you investing into the community? And how would God call you into it more deeply?
Lead me to deeper, truer, and more life-changing relationships in the church Jesus!