Back to School
“Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea.”
from “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy, complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other.
It is awfully hard to imagine a world in which we agree with everyone all the time. Luckily, this bit of scripture from Philippians is specifically talking about being united and in agreement with those in our community. Wait, even that can be challenging!
As you steep into your community and conflicts naturally arise, imagine how you might engage those issues with compassion, love, patience, and grace. We aren’t going to agree with everyone all of the time. In fact, there are going to be times when we feel irreversibly divided. There are times when we feel so far away from our people that we aren’t sure if we’ll ever make it back.
But, it is in those moments that we have a choice in how we respond. Will we be patient and listen? Will we strive to stay connected as we work through conflict? Will we remember that we are all children of God and we are united as such?
It is certainly my prayer for my own life and for yours.
Ashley Lytle Carr
Ever present God of comfort, you are the light upon every darkened path. You help me find my way when I am lost in the wilderness of conflict. As I navigate through these tough waters, help me to see and know that you are there and that you will help me find compassion, grace, and love. Amen.
Remember that in Matthew 18:20, Jesus tells us: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” God is present in the midst of our squads, no matter what they look like.
Go now into your day, and as you go:
Be in relationship.
Seek out God’s children.
Meet them with love.
Live together in peace.
Know that God is there.