At the Town Hall last week, we wrestled with some big questions about the future direction of our congregation. While some of the questions were daunting, the greater truth was inspiring: We are in this together. We are committed to the work of the Lord. We are linked together as the body of Christ.

As we follow Christ, during Lent or any other time of year, we will face challenges, surprises, and even roadblocks. But we can be assured that we will never face any of these moments alone. First and foremost, God is with us every step of the way, supporting us with His ineffable love. But we also walk with the saints, those who have gone before us and those who are on their own journey right now, right beside us. Our power is in our community, our connection with each other and with the Lord.

But community does not appear on its own. Community is constructed by willing hearts who reach out to each other, forming connections, building bridges, and creating friendships. Sometimes, we reach out to offer help. Sometimes, we reach out to teach or to guide, to lift up or to heal. And sometimes, we reach out simply to say “Hello,” or “You are not alone,” or “All are welcome here.”

We are a dynamic and active congregation, but we cannot become so focused on our tasks that we forget the greatest calling we receive from God – to reach out to the world and let all come to know Him, His Word, and His Love through us. As we continue to seek ways in which to love giving this Lent, let us reach out to those around us. Greet someone after worship today; perhaps you know them and just haven’t said hello in a while, or perhaps you haven’t had the chance to meet them yet. Invite someone to worship on Sundays or Wednesdays, or to Bible Study. Suggest to a friend that you meet not just for coffee, but for prayer. Each invitation, each extension of your hand and your heart builds our community and strengthens the body of Christ. May God bless our efforts.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:24-25