There is nothing quite like communing with new people. It all starts with stepping out of our comfort zone, often stepping into someone else’s community, hardship or joy.
At first it may be difficult, but in joining someone else where they are, we leave our way of viewing the world behind just long enough to get a glimpse of life through the eyes of a neighbor. The sharing that happens in those sacred spaces goes far beyond conversation and good deeds; it allows for a type of spiritual communion without all the preconceived notions that so often cause us to miss the beauty we have in common.
I joined the PPUMC staff as the new director of youth ministry four short months ago, just in time for launching into a multitude of mission trips and fun summer activities! In that time I have not only been welcomed into a new church family, but I have also discovered the gift of communion with each community we have visited this summer.
We have traveled to Houston with Senior High Mission Trip, South Dallas with our Middle Schoolers and gathered with our own community here in Irving with several events this summer. With each of those outings came conversations that were so telling of where each of us had been, what we were seeking and how our separate journeys could be joined to make the world a more loving place.
Let us be like the apostles, looking for every opportunity to leave our home and join someone else in theirs, bringing our willing hearts, ready to love. “Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46–47 CEB)
“Missions” are not about giving what we have to spare to others in need, but building community by walking into the unfamiliar — at first empty handed — so that we can focus on what may be shared and the lives behind the need. In that way, sacred relationships are formed through which the true needs of both parties are made known. Those needs can be met mutually through the duration of a Christ-centered friendship.