Blessings of Community
Nancy Ross of St. George, UT, USA
Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed. As Christ’s body, lovingly and patiently bear the weight of criticism from those who hesitate to respond to the divine vision of human worth and equality in Christ. This burden and blessing is yours for divine purposes. And, always remember, the way of suffering that leads to the cross also leads to resurrection and everlasting life in Christ’s eternal community of oneness and peace. Trust in this promise. -Doctrine and Covenants 165:6
The night before the semester started for me and my husband, an intense desert thunderstorm caused a flood in our house. We grabbed our shop vacs and went to work cleaning up dirty flood water. I quickly realized that the water was coming in faster than we could clean it up. We needed help. As I worried that people would resist coming to our rescue during the pandemic, I typed out requests for help in several social media locations. “If you are still awake and have a shop vac or pump, we could use your help!” I immediately went back to vacuuming. Within an hour, we had four family members, church community members, and colleagues at our house with the needed equipment. Shortly after, the storm ended. It took about an hour and a half of intense labor, but we finally got the floors dry and prevented further damage to our home.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have struggled with feeling the strength of my community. I saw church folks on Zoom and received emails from colleagues, but it was difficult to feel the realness of those connections and to see them as solid. I knew we were all struggling to take care of our families and get our work done. It felt like my need to care for my most immediate concerns had chipped away at the value of other kinds of relationships. I worried that this whole experience had made me and many others more inward-looking. But this incident with the flood showed me that I can experience God-in-community even in times of physical isolation. I am learning that while the pandemic has created so much physical distance, it has given birth to an unmet desire to show up and care for our neighbors and loved ones. I can recognize that now. I am still preoccupied with the needs of my family, but I am now watching and waiting for opportunities to return that care to my community.
“Trust what is being born.”
Jesus, the Peaceful One
We have spent this year with a guiding question: Are we moving closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One? As we near the end of this calendar year, we review how this question has been shaping and forming us. In our thoughts, words, and actions, have we been embodying Jesus, the Peaceful One? What might it look like to move closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One as we make space in our lives for Christ incarnate this Advent season?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.