The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-6)
Occasionally, God hits me upside the head. There’s no
booming voice, but a theme arises from my daily reading - Bible study, blogs
and devotions. I can’t miss the repetition and reiteration. This past week the
significance of community was obviously a Heaven sent message…via these three
For most of my life, I practiced a private faith. I prayed
mostly for myself or for close friends and family. But in college a friend
pointed out to me that in scripture God speaks to people as a group as much as
God does to individuals. Jesus too speaks, not only to individuals but to
crowds and the disciples as a group. Paul’s letters are, all but one, addressed
to communities. As Americans, we tend to imagine that our relationship with God
is individual and personal and hasn’t much to do with our neighbors, coworkers,
or wider communities.
…we don’t live in isolation; our lives intertwine with the
lives of those around us.
This theme of community and connectedness and compassion and
interdependence informs my volunteer work with United Way. It’s an intersection of the sacred and secular - Spirit inspired.
The author and Trappist monk Thomas Merton sharpens the point:
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen
awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part
of one another, and all involved in one another.
I have written several prayers related to this subject…