There is something about community that has the ability to break hearts in the best way. Whether it is the solid arm of a fellow as you together confront evil, or the joyful voice accompanying you in song before a large and eager group of children, there really is no comparison. Community is what moves people to check out a church for the first time and it is community that keeps them coming back.
And you know, it really doesn’t take much time either, but it does take an experience. It takes a shared concern for one another and often but not required a concern for what each other are about.
But sadly, the experience of belonging is not too common. And where it is lacking, even the ultimate sign of communion, the real Jesus mysteriously hidden in the Eucharist, becomes impotent. Lives go without healing and they sometimes silently break because we fail to share joy with the stranger. Marriages whither and children are ignored because we haven’t noticed. How dare we?
How dare we not ‘go out’ as Jesus made painfully clear? How dare we lose sight of God’s little ones because we have forgotten or are too self absorbed to do such a small thing?
Give people your name. Give people your friendship. Give it away freely.