Tuesday, March 8 Read Matthew 18:1-21
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20
Community of Faith
One of my relatives insists that she can believe in God without going to church. Although I don't doubt her belief, I can't help but think of all she is missing. I have tried to encourage her to come to church, but she is rather defensive about it, so I have backed off.
She often seems worried or concerned about something but is usually unwilling to talk about it. Many of us find that just having a conversation with a caring person eases our minds. It's good to know that someone cares. When you have a more serious concern, it can be comforting to know that another person will pray for you – or even pray with you. That can be reassuring or help give you a more hopeful outlook on a troubling situation.
It is good to be part of a faith community that really cares for its people. Our congregation is blessed with a number of opportunities to reach out in prayer and support – not only to members, but to others seeking comfort or guidance.
Our prayer chains accept prayer requests from anyone, then pass them on to all who serve in this mission so that many will respond with prayers. We have Stephen Ministers who are trained to listen in confidence, pray, comfort and support people who are going through troubling times. Parish nursing is a congregational health and caring ministry. Nurses visit those with health problems and provide spiritual support for those who are grieving. Communion is taken by lay volunteers to those who are homebound and unable to attend church.
In these and many other ways, we share life together in community.
The message from Matthew 18 could lead us toward hope and comfort. We have this promise from Jesus that whenever two or more of us are together in his name, he will be there with us. How does that sound? Yes, God always listens when we pray alone, but there is power in praying together.
In the community of faith within a church congregation we can find caring and support for one another. When we pray together in church, God is most certainly with us!
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