What Does it Mean to Love Our Community?
By Melissa Rynders
This week we celebrate what is known in the church as Holy Week. It is a time when we reflect on and remember the last days of Jesus’ life before he was crucified and laid in the tomb. We sit in the darkness and brokenness of the world as we await what we know will be the resurrection on Easter Sunday. If we think back to that first Easter, the moment when all of this was actually taking place, we remember that Jesus’ disciples did not yet understand that Jesus would rise. They fully believed they had lost the one person who they thought would finally free them from the injustices they faced in the world.
As we think about what it means to Love Our Community, this story of Holy Week is a great reminder of why community is so important. Both the community of those that we know, our friends, families and churches, and those in our community that we don’t yet know, those who might benefit from feeling the love within our community. As Jesus said goodbye to his disciples over a meal, as the women gathered round the cross and grieved his body being removed from the tomb, as we come together and remember, we do it all in community. Not one person in the story of Holy Week was on their own as they processed and grieved and celebrated Jesus. They wept together, ate together, shared together in community and because they were together, they were stronger than they ever could have been apart.
This Holy Week, this Easter season as we celebrate the Risen Christ, let us do so remembering that Love for Our Community is just as important in moments of sorrow and brokenness as it is in moments of joy and celebration. We need the support, of those we know, those we have yet to know, and those whom God has placed in our lives, in order to be filled up and live out who God created us to be. We need the reminder that we are often the only love someone else will see in the world, the light in the darkness that Jesus was and is for us.
I invite you this week to sit in the stillness, the darkness, the brokenness and feel the love of our community surrounding you, the Body of Christ, across the world, reaching out in love and support, lifting one another up. And then, as you celebrate with your loved ones the Resurrection, think of that same community, the Body of Christ, across the world, cheering you on and celebrating all that is to come. May we know the love of a community in the same way that Jesus and his disciples did that Holy Week long ago. And as we come together this summer at Youth 2019, may we remember this week, this story of brokenness and hope, death and resurrection, and lift one another up as we explore even further how we Love Our Community in the midst of all that is going on in the world.