“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will hold you in the palm of my hand.”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the remarkable privilege of being in community with one another in God’s family…God’s kingdom here on earth. We are called to the corporate (all together) body of Christ. We have brothers and sisters in this family of faith. We have a worship life, a prayer life, a sacramental life to share with one another in God’s name and to God’s glory.
Far too often the temptation to “go our own way” or “be left alone” or “don’t worry about me…I can take care of myself” takes root in our souls. Independence and individuality are proudly nurtured in our culture. Self-made success is applauded from an early age. Scripture, however, has a different vision in mind. We are created for life together: a communion of saints (who sometimes are sinful) – but always striving to live side-by-side and building together a better, more peace-filled world.
The words of Isaiah help us remember, whenever the tendency is to pull back or push away from this shared experience, that one of God’s greatest gifts to us is God’s promise to “hold us in the palm of his hand”. We are precious in God’s sight – and we find strength in knowing and living, in remembering and embracing that God is all about kingdom building. And that, my friends, is something we do together.
So…enjoy the summer…and live as folks who are bound one to each other by the grace and strength of a God who is always holding us close AND asking us to reach out to others.