Living in Community

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made
any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit
means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor:
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.
Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.
Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Philippians 2:1-4 (The Message)

Today my husband and I, along with other members of our church family, spent time painting.  Granted we have unfinished painting projects at home, but this seemed far more important to our church community.

Our church owns a small rental property just across the street from our main building.  For years, the same couple has lived there.  They have enjoyed reduced rent in exchange for certain property-related duties.  A win/win for both the church and our tenants.  Unfortunately, these folks decided it was time to enjoy a coastal property they had inherited.

Now we have tenants moving in, a young couple with an infant, who will enjoy the same win/win.

But the property needed work and cleaning.  For two weeks now, work partieshave been

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arriving to lend a hand doing various jobs around the property to ready it for the new family.

Today was a day we had signed up to paint trim in a specific area.  Others were there doing other things, but there was a feeling of strong community among us.  We’ve all known each other for years, have been in small groups and Bible studies together, attended church retreats together, and much, much more.

But today was different.  We were lending a helping hand in community, a working together for the common good.  Nothing else feels quite like it.

What have you done lately in community to lend a hand?  I know we’re all busy, but it only took three hours out of our day today and some only were there for an hour or so.  But it was more about not only what was accomplished in those few minutes but also coming together in community.

Try it — I think you’ll find it to be a warm and comfortable feeling that lasts a long time.