Author: Holly Reimer
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Reflection: v. 21, ‘Examine everything carefully’
Paul is speaking here to the larger Thessalonian community, not just to one or some, but to all. Community is a word pregnant with meaning and theology, particularly as we seek and examine faith and faithfulness. We learn from other people. We need other people. Two of the things I love most about Mercy are the community itself and our community-led Bible studies. In my weaker more vulnerable moments, I like to tell myself that I don’t need other people, that being an introvert works for me and I’d be good by myself. This is a lie! We live in such a driven, individualistic culture that we intrinsically believe we don’t need each another. During one of our recent Bible studies, a member stood up to share the importance of community in his life and as he works on his recovery and as he seeks to find a stronger faith for himself. He said, ‘I need this community.’ He is not alone. We all need community—and not just for resources, like food and clothing, but for connection and encouragement. The other thing I love most about Mercy are our community-led Bible studies. It is here where we can examine everything carefully. This becomes a space where we can bring our questions, and sometimes even challenge one another. Scripture comes alive for me in the context of my community, and I am able to see who God is and what God says more clearly.
Prayer Lord, thank you for community. Thank you for places, spaces, and people who can encourage and challenge us. May we continue to examine your word faithfully. Amen.