The power of community

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The power of community”
This morning I want to continue our thinking from yesterday’s devotional regarding how important it is for each of us to be a “stretcher bearer” – someone who helps to carry the load when a brother or sister is struggling and in need of help.
Yesterday I shared a quote with you from a woman whose family was going through a deep, dark valley – a terrible situation – and her church family and friends supported them and helped to carry them through it. Her statement was “I was hurting badly but I was being loved deeply.” That was said by Carol Kent and was recorded in her book, “When I lay my Isaac down: Unshakable faith in unthinkable circumstances.”
The valley Carol and her family were going through was that her only son committed first-degree murder. Up to the point of pulling the trigger and killing a man, her son had been an outstanding person in every respect. He was a strong Christian, he was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was in the middle of a good career as a Navy officer, and he was married with two children. But convinced that his wife’s ex-husband posed a potential threat to their two daughters, he traveled six hours to another part of their state, hunted the man down, and shot him dead in a parking lot in front of witnesses. He was then arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Carol, her husband Gene, and everyone who knew their son Jason were stunned in disbelief. Carol and Gene’s world quickly fell apart. What would happen to their son now? What about his wife and children? Also, at that time, Carol was a well-known motivational speaker and best-selling Christian author. What would people think? Would she even be able to continue her ministry and if so, how could she encourage, motivate, and guide others through life when her own son was a murderer and her life was falling apart?
It was in this context that Carol experienced the power of good Christian community. She wrote, “I never understood what power of community could do. It’s people in the body of Christ working like a family to sit and cry with you. Holding you. Caring for your needs. Carrying your burdens for a day. Creatively solving problems. Gathering resources. Opening doors of hope. Writing notes of encouragement. Fighting a cause on your behalf. Finding a way when there is no way. Listening. Waiting with you as long as it takes. It’s people “being Jesus” to you.”
I want to remind you today that there is power in good Christian community and chances are, somebody you know needs your help today. I encourage you to be there for them.  
God bless,
Pastor Jim
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at
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