Today’s devotional author is Mischa Beary, PoP Sacred Settlement Intentional Neighbor.

“..the whole idea of the love of God was to draw people together in one body- reconciled to God.” John M. Perkins

We are designed to do life together, in congruence with one another, side by side, through the mountain peaks and valleys low.

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Jesus nourishes us so we can nourish others, Jesus saved us so we can share our testimonies of His love and grace to salvation, Jesus fed us so we can feed others, Jesus comforts us so we can comfort others, Jesus gave us peace so we can offer peace to others, Jesus is our best friend so we can befriend others, In Jesus we have our home so we can welcome others in, He loved us so we can love others.

When we truly believe all we have is in Him and He has made us rich- “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor so that you by His poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 We can hold everything loosely and as a gift and in doing so we can fully help in any time of need in our communities.

Living here at Prince of Peace, the Lord has gifted us with an abundance of community. I have learned being here, not to think about what I am wearing, what the schedule looks like for the day, what I will eat when I get up, have I seen any friends recently, and where is the Lord calling me to serve, love, and share. He gives us what we need and opportunities daily. Seeing my neighbor/friend smile and have the opportunity, seeing that a neighbor/friend feels they belong, interacting with the friends who come into the church that day, or waving to the friend mowing the lawn, eating a meal with a neighbor/friend, praying for a friend who isn’t feeling well, practicing a song with a friend for worship, inviting a friend to a violin recital and so much more mystery in the day of who we will see and what God will do that day or ask to pursue. It all boils down to Jesus and loving others. Community isn’t always easy, there is trust to be built, love to be cultivated, friendships that take the gift of time together, a willingness to be present, to turn words into action, to listen even when it’s hard to understand. Jesus equips us and in the body, we are equipped to be able to walk as He walked, speak as He spoke, think as He thought, and love as He loved.

In the body, we all have a beautiful piece to contribute. Like a song that is written, each instrument plays its part and if one instrument is missing, the song is missing a vital contribution; to hear it as a whole. The piano, the violin, the guitar, the saxophone, the bells, the cello, the drums; they all may sound a bit unique, but we are playing the same notes and creating a beautiful masterpiece to the Lord. 

I praise God for this community, and the willingness of each person to lend a hand, to inspire an idea, to be a listening ear, to shovel some dirt, to nail some wood, to support, to spend time, to go beyond what our comfort zones may be, in an intimate way of life.

In following Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and speak deeply into our hearts-moving us, having all things in common, breaking bread together, praying together, continuing daily in one accord, the Lord provides so much growth.

There is a beautiful song called Hineh ma tov by Joshua Aaron. Hineh ma tov in Hebrew means “behold how good and how pleasing.” This phrase comes from Psalm 133 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of the robes! It is like the dew of Hermon which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” In Jesus we dwell in unity together, the body. And in Psalm 23 David says “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This is what the Lord has promised us, and this is what we can share with others in community, mercy and goodness, as He has freely given, we can freely give to others! Hineh ma tov!                        

Lord Jesus,

We thank You for Your loving care for us. Thank You that You have brought us in by Your Blood into a forever community, the body. Equip us and allow us to use our gifts, to share and to receive in living where You have called each one of us. Thank You for teaching us daily. Your love is beautiful and boundless! We praise You and love You!

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen!