May 20, 2020

Community Is . . . Caring

Romans 12:3-13

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

—  Romans 12:6

Years ago, when Milt’s son died of leukemia, he and his family felt the incredible arms of their community caring for them. This care was expressed in tangible ways. People brought them meals, and many others prayed for them and sent cards, and a number of people gave hugs when they were needed. At the funeral the people who gathered sang “Jesus Loves Me,” and that was so meaningful to Milt that he remembers it clearly today. Some of Milt’s supporters had dealt with similar situations before, and yet others could only sympathize, having little idea what Milt and his family were dealing with. But the entire community cared for them in whatever way they could.

When the apostle Paul talks about the body of Christ in Romans 12, he urges his listeners to use whatever gifts they have been given to their fullest ability. It doesn’t really matter which gifts we might have. What matters is that we use them to the best of our ability for the good of others.

In community, people care for each other. They use their gifts to help each other and to see that anyone who is wounded or hurting or in some other difficulty is looked after and loved. Sometimes healing is possible. Other times mourning and support are needed when healing won’t take place.

At times we all need caring for. Having a community around us to do that is essential.

Father, help us to use the gifts we have been given to care for each other, and help us to receive care when we need it. Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is director of faith formation at a church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, camping, and visiting national parks with his family.

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