A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

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Craving Community

Two people are better than one, because they can reap more benefit from their labor.  Ecclesiastes 4:9 NET

It’s happened more than we care to admit.

We decide we don’t like someone. Then Providence pushes us together in a way that we must rely on each other. We come to see the adversary in a new light. A bond forms.

Alexander Langlands wrote, “At a point later in the year, I observed a paddock with two mature ewes with rather thick necklaces of twisted hay. These stubborn ewes, I was told, had taken a disliking to one another in the field and were almost incessantly butting and harassing each other. These edible Elizabethan-style ruffs of hay were the only source of food in the pen, so if the battling ewes wanted to feed they had to get up close and nuzzle, ultimately developing a bond of familiarity” (Craeft, 73).

In the church, we call it community. Imperfect, sometimes uncomfortable. Yet a community, ideally, that feeds its members.

Sheep crave community. Even if it means building a bond with an adversary. The wise shepherd puts the unruly sheep in a situation where they must feed each other so they can both return to the flock.

Craig Rogers says, “Although many think their flocking instinct to be a sign of ‘dumbness,’ it is in fact a community-based survival mechanism where they have learned that their strength is much greater in numbers and their comfort and survival is enhanced as a group rather than as an individual. Not a bad lesson for all of us.”

Remember that Christian who irritates you? Offer some figurative or real food and work to get comfortable as an ally in the faith. How about that neighbor who’s a nonbeliever? Someone outside the flock, perhaps a wounded spirit just waiting for an invitation to have coffee at a neighborhood establishment, to have dinner at your house, or to attend your church.

Like sheep wearing food around our necks, we carry the Bread of Life with us. Lost and wounded sheep live among and around us, and we are the only ones who can invite them to come home.

Think of someone to whom you can offer community.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Nancy Head

Author Nancy E. Head was a single mother with five children under the age of fourteen when many in the church came to her aid. Her story illustrates common problems in our society, such as the fracturing of families and communities, reflecting a splintering church. Alienated families and a riven church cannot minister as effectively to their own members or others until they find accord. Nancy is the author of Restoring the Shattered: Illustrating Christ's Love Through the Church in One Accord.