Katie Snipes Lancaster
Scripture: Matthew 18:20
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Spiritual Practice: Commitment to Community
Because the pandemic has restricted so many of the regular rhythms of gathering together, I wonder: do you feel more committed to community now, or pre-pandemic? Maybe for some of us, we tightened the bonds of community, recommitted in a new way, and dug into the most important bonds in our lives. Maybe for others, not being able to gather has fractured our sense of community participation, lowered our ability to participate, and made us feel disconnected. That’s part of what makes this season so hard. We have much to navigate as we reassess and regroup (literally come back together in groups).
Last August, some neighbors I had never met played a concert on their lawn. Slowly at first, and then with more gusto, neighbors heard the sound and stepped outside with masks and lawn chairs. As a life long weekly participant in worship, March-to-August-2020 was the longest I had gone without regular live music in my entire life. We tentatively crossed the street and sat 6 feet apart from another set of neighbors I had never met. My son sat on my lap. Maybe he wondered why tears fell (well, for one, they played a song that was part of our wedding). Community, music, a sense of being united, a deep feeling of all that was lost, all that was being sacrificed, all that was missing: it all flooded in. It kindled a re-commitment to my neighborhood community in a new way. It renewed me.
Maybe for you, a re-commitment to community happens on the soccer field, in the halls of your eerily quiet office, on the golf course, at a milestone ritual (like graduation, confirmation, baptism, a wedding?), at a meal (finally) with your now-vaccinated extended family, or in the tender (again eerily under-occupied) shelter of our sanctuary. Let us commit to one another. Let us commit to community.
God, you connect us to one another.
We may miss one another,
But you make it clear:
We occupy a place of love in one another’s hearts.
We sustain life, only with one another.
Wherever two or more are gathered, there you are with us.
So bless our many communities.
Bless our church community.
Bless our commitments to one another.
Bless and be a blessing among us.
As we gather, regather, regroup, recommit.