Please bear with my musings for a moment on the Latin root "communis" — as in "in common, public, shared by all or many."
I have been thinking about this Latin root a lot lately as we are all living our daily worlds apart but still longing for community and togetherness. How are we finding "community" in this time apart? All of my answers share this same Latin root.
The primary way we find "community" is through "communication." In these times of living apart from family and friends that we love, we are finding the joys of intentional communication through FaceTime or Zoom calls, text threads, or even the good-old-fashioned phone call. Intentional communication creates and keeps community.
In our shared Christian faith, the sacrament of "communion" is a celebration "in remembrance of Christ's body and blood poured out for us in his once-for-all sacrifice on the cross." We have communion with God through the gift of Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection. And as we reflected on after Easter, this gift of forgiveness and new life allows us to live meaningful lives of service in relationship with others that God brings into our lives.
God wants us to live in communion with Him and with one another. David Wilcox's song "That's What the Lonely is For" is a favorite song of mine. Here are a few of the lyrics: "When I get lonely, that's only a sign / Some room is empty, but that room is there by design / If I feel hollow, that's just my proof that there's more / For me to follow."
God made us to live in community and, even when we can't share common spaces during these times, we can still communicate with one another to keep the bonds that we share in Christ and as part of the GRCMS family. Take the time this week to reach out to others to encourage, to laugh, to cry, and to keep our connections tight until we are able to be together again.