If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
This has been an unprecedented year. We have heard this said in the news, from others and from ourselves. It is true, these past two years have been unlike any others. But I have not been alone. I have never felt alone, or abandoned by my friends, family and especially my church family. We have not been alone. I am amazed at how well we as a group of believers have come together to find innovated ways to continue to worship together, even if it has been from your car in the parking lot. It even seems okay to actually enjoy watching a worship service in our pajamas at home or having Sunday School on Zoom. Who would ever guess this was to be the way of life in our church, work, or home? I must thank and recognize the pastors and the team of staff members and volunteers who have put their heads together to come up with many innovated ideas, even when sometimes we have had to take a few steps backwards to move forward. There has been compassion for the grieving, even when it wasn’t appropriate to come together to mourn. But we did mourn. There has been joy in celebrating the seasons of the church and milestones of our youth, albeit in different ways. Christ has always been with us. The Holy Spirit has always been guiding our ways.
Never before have I noticed such an increase in the number of folks who have had losses, illnesses, disruptions, and even fear. Personally, I have encountered more illnesses and deaths than I care to count. As a Stephen Ministry leader, I have had to come to terms with the fact that our ministry has suffered too, and we have not been able to do our jobs as we would have liked to. We have lost two loving, caring leaders/ministers in 2021, and we have watched other ministers become the ones who are receiving care. It has been hard. But we have not been alone. Through prayers, calls, and cards, we have held each other up throughout this difficult time. I pray daily for those who are in need and pray in the near future we can give to them the one-on-one in person caring relationships that the program has been trained to do. In the meantime, I feel blessed every day that the LOVE of Christ is with us all. As in the scripture of Philippians 2:2 …make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. And in verse 3, I strive to be more like this: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
The people of Grace reflect on the One Body of Christ for the 2022 Lenten Devotional. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily for a new reflection.