School has begun, and in a few short weeks, the blissful days of summer are going to come to an end. The weather will turn cooler, the shadows deeper, and the busyness of the new school year will really take over.

Though each school year promises exciting opportunities to meet new people and build new relationships at school, pause for a moment and consider the relationships that you share with others in your faith community.

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If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.

1 Corinthians 12:26-27

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I don’t remember ever seeing my dad cry because of sadness. I have this picture of him as being a solid rock, able to weather whatever life offers. Yet, there are times in my life that I sensed his heart was heavy with sadness. Even the memory of that moment makes my heart feel a little sad. Why? Because we, as humans created in God’s image, are designed to suffer together. We empathize with one another’s pain.

This is a little example of what we should feel with those in our church community. When someone in your youth group or small group shares that they are going through a hard time, Christ calls us to suffer alongside them. When they celebrate something good in their lives, we’re called to share that victory as well. This journey was not meant to be walked alone, which is why we’re blessed to have a church community to walk with.

Jason Santos

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God of great joy, thank you for giving me a community with which to journey. Thank you for allowing me to suffer with them as they suffer with me. Help me to empathize with those who are hurting, that I might show your love in a real and tangible way. Amen.

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Okay … now seize this day and those wonderful relationships you have in your church by sharing a moment with someone from your faith community. As you begin this transition to the next season, try sharing it with someone close to you.

Jason Santos

Rev. Jason Brian Santos, Ph.D. is the Associate for Collegiate Ministries for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and an ordained teaching elder in the PCUSA. He earned his doctorate in practical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his research focused on the spiritual formation of youth and young adults. He currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, two sons, and a couple of unruly animals.

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