Last year I learned that I don’t function well in isolation. As an extrovert who communicates freely with touch, I wasn’t built for a quarantine. While four children at home kept me plenty busy, I was missing something vitally important. I longed for the physical presence of my church community. Walking the uncertain road of a global pandemic without the regular presence of my touchstones in faith was unsettling.
Surely each of us has wondered why Jesus chose such a quirky, rag-tag bunch to be his ministry partners in Galilee and Jerusalem. We enjoy making light of their flaws, and shaking our heads at their mistakes. But Jesus knew what I am constantly learning. Faith is a community project. The spiritual life isn’t something we achieve through rugged individualism. It grows as God’s grace works within a group of perfectly imperfect people.
When the quarantine is a distant memory that we tell stories about, I’ll always include one unforgettable moment from that time. It involves a drive-by parade to honor our church’s graduating seniors, a group that included my daughter. As we stood in our front yard and watched our church family riding by, honking horns, holding signs, and blowing kisses, our vast differences struck me. We vary greatly in ages and interests, musical tastes and political leanings, personalities and preferences, but we all belong together.
There’s something so beautiful about Jesus with his unlikely gathering of a tax collector, a political zealot, and fishermen. They reflect the diverse body of Christ that lives on within our faith communities. The fellow pilgrims who walk with us in sorrow and in joy provide a glimpse of God’s surprising vision for the world.
Think about your faith community today and write a note or send an email to someone who has been especially meaningful to you as you live out your faith.
God, thank you that we’re not meant to walk the road of faith alone. Bless your church so we will fully reflect the goodness of the body of Christ. Amen.