Caring Community and the Goodness of Life

Earth's recent cascade of calamities might lead you to dwell upon what I wrote in October: God gives us the gift of Christian community in part because life can be tough. But notice that phrase in part! Think of the many ways in which individuals and faith communities offer help and continue to empower local disaster response efforts long after the media spotlight has moved on. The caring Christian community does not turn away from scenes of disaster; it moves into areas of devastation to be of service, just as we seek to "bear one another's burdens" (Gal. 6:2) within our own church community, refusing to turn away from someone's need.

May you find hope and reassurance in that focus! For life is also good-in the deep sense that God has given us not only the gift of life, but of new life in Jesus Christ, who knits us into the caring community of the church, in communion/fellowship with God and each other. We can remind one another that we are loved-and that Jesus' disciples are called to love God and neighbor. We have each other, the imperfect but hopeful "saints" of today-and the "great cloud of witnesses" (Heb. 12:1) of all the saints before us-to assist and inspire us on our journey together.

This Thanksgiving month, let us rejoice in the goodness God continues to call forth! May we imitate Christ-serving God, One another, and God's world!

Deeny Bennett
Congregational Care Minister