January 23 – Community
Read: 2 Corinthians 8
A few years ago my wife and I moved to Seattle. The physical labor of lugging dressers, boxes of books and cast-iron pans from one location to another is rarely enjoyable, and we had limited time. Our plan was to complete the move in one day – load up the trailer in the morning, drive an hour north and unload in the afternoon. By the afternoon we were exhausted, with much of the trailer left to unload. The low-point came as I was moving the refrigerator on a hand-truck through an uneven spot on the sidewalk, only to lose my balance and send the refrigerator crashing onto the cement. At that moment, and much to my relief, a carload of folks from North Seattle Friends Church pulled up to help finish unloading. They provided a much-needed boost of energy, strength and encouragement. This gift of time and energy meant a lot to my wife and I when we were at the end of our rope.
The Apostle Paul knew that if Christians in the first century were going to thrive they needed to work together. Paul encouraged the Corinthians with this simple principal: Give yourselves to God, then give yourselves to each other (2 Cor. 8:5, 7). Paul laid out what we might describe as a spiritual economy of plenty – there is always enough to do what we are called to do as we listen faithfully to the Spirit and respond generously with our time and resources (v. 13-15). Through the community of Christ, way opens where a door appeared shut. Even something as seemingly ordinary as lending a helping hand can be the pure grace of God.
What does it look like to be the community of Christ?