Chords of Love: “Above all else hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8,
Most of us have a time of year that makes us happier than other times. For me it is a toss-up between spring and fall.
I appreciate autumn because it is a time for me to spiritually venture inward and physically enjoy a slower rhythm. As the air turns crisp the socks, blankets and woolies come out of the closet. It is the beginning of the harvest as well as fall festivals and sweaters. It is a time of calling friends together to sit around the camp fire, drink some cowboy coffee and enjoy freshly picked apples that have been turned into apple crisp.
It is a time to gather loving community together around a freshly set table with freshly picked fall flowers with people we know and care about as we enjoy the bounty of God’s Great Love.
Chester Friends and a group called Friends Disaster Service have been making ice cream for a very long time to sell at the Clinton County Corn Festival. In August the disaster group puts the word out and community people gather to make this cold tasty homemade treat. It is one of those occasions I dread and appreciate all at the same time, because it involves a lot of work, and sometimes, I just don’t want to go there because I am tired.
And then something wonderful happens – this cheery group of people walks through the door, chattering and sharing stories with one another and we commence to make ice cream as we build community together. My burden is lifted by the positive attitude of those who have come to help. They tell me they look forward to it, and I believe them because they are all so positive.
Not all community is healthy and sometimes we get tangled in the dysfunction of a group that has lost their heart. The task set before us becomes a burden and we lose the celebration of the experience.
This happens to me typically when I have not tended to the spiritual part of who I am. I get too busy doing busy things and forget to invite God into the work.
Quaker Author Phil Gulley states, “Community is a beautiful thing; sometimes it even heals us and makes us better than we would otherwise be.”
This is the kind of community I strive for; in the work place, in my faith community, in my home and anywhere else I go. I want to be a part of building a community of God that offers healing love for all who enter.
I think that is what Jesus was and still is trying to teach us.
Nancy McCormick is Pastor of Chester and Springfield Friends Meetings.