At our campus ministry, one of our weekly events is supper and a talking circle. We close the evening by sharing a word of gratitude. Usually comments of gratefulness for the food come up, but gratefulness for the community is also often expressed. I find it amazing that these students, not knowing each other-from different walks of life, study, faith or non-faith-find community in sharing a meal and word.
Gratitude for community is also expressed by Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians. The Christian faith is deeply steeped in the need for community, but I wonder if we forget this sometimes? Being able to give students a small glimpse of the community of faith I belong to through our student community has been such an honour. I often remind the students that my presence at the university is only possible because of the community of faith who support me through the churches. “Why would anyone do this? They don’t even know me!” asked a student. Our community of faith believes in serving others with no expectation of getting things in return. One of our core Christian beliefs-God comes to us with no expectation of getting things in return-is called grace.
O God of grace, gather us in to be fed by your Word and Spirit through our communities. Give us courage to share your gift with others. Amen. — MP