St. Paul’s, Montrose
For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you
or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
How often do we struggle with the ups and downs of life by ourselves? We shoulder the burden of grief, or guilt or stress until we’re forced to our knees under the weight. When we admit that we cannot be in control, we often turn to God as a last resource. As always, God is waiting to remind us that we are not alone now or ever. Although Paul has been prevented from traveling, he contacts the followers of Christ in Rome. He proclaims their common tie as belonging to Jesus Christ even though they are countries apart. Herein lies the solution to his isolation and ours when we feel alone on the planet.
On our life journey, an intimate relationship with God is our ultimate goal, and if with God, then with one another as children of God. I simply cannot imagine the anguish of not belonging to a faith community. My fellow believers are there for me in my doubts, my sorrows, my joys. They are my cheerleaders and my comforters. We are mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
About twenty years ago, I was away on vacation when I learned that a dear woman of our parish had been murdered while showing a house to a real estate client. The draw to my faith community was so strong that we packed up and went home to be in the presence of other believers. No other scenario would have satisfied my longing to be with my church family and to support one another.
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