The gifts of being and belonging in community are so powerful. And yet, they are not always obvious as we rush through our days. Here at St. Tim’s I’ve noticed the powerful and sometimes, hidden, gifts of community. For example, the power of being community with and for one another is clear at our weekly book study on Tuesday evening, as we discuss race, racism, and our Christian faith in our country. I have seen how people have been open to and challenged one another; I have experienced vulnerability and compassion when sharing stories of pain and hope while talking about our book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. I have seen the power of being community with and for one another here at St. Tim’s, when friends reach out to offer prayer and care, maybe a meal or a warm embrace, even the courage to talk about an immediate need or to ask for help. To know the gifts of community requires that we pause, we notice, we give thanks. To know the gifts of community is to show up, be present, listen, rejoice, or grieve together. To know the gifts of community is to give ourselves to one another—not in superficial ways, but in deep ways, which does not mean in grandiose ways, but, rather, in small, consistent ways.
This Sunday we will baptize a child of God and welcome another person into the Body of Christ. We will be asked to care for this person, to help them grow in faith and as a human. We will pledge our support to offer hope, patience, love, kindness, mercy, encouragement—we will pledge to offer ourselves to one another. To be, in short, community with and for one another. Yes, it is a deep gift to give our lives to one another and to ask something of each other—all the while, knowing that we are needed. Yes, you are needed. We need one another. God needs you. Can you believe it? All loving, creator of the universe, needs and desires you. And it is precisely because life is known in relationship, in community, that it could be no other way. God, who is relationship (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), calls us all into deeper community—not for ourselves, but for the life of this world. So, come, see how these waters of baptism, these waters of life, are for you, for me, for all. We are made new, not to live isolated lives, but to give or life to and for and with others. Come join this love-life we live together, in community.
See you Sunday