Recently, Raessa, DC127’s Family Support Coordinator, was asked to reflect on 1 Peter 4:7-11 for a sermon her pastor was writing. We couldn’t pass up sharing these wise and encouraging thoughts about the important role community plays, especially when God calls us to love deeply, practice hospitality, and offer grace.
1 Peter 4:7-9 says, 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
I always wanted my life to have the same threads of hospitality, friendship, and faith that I witness directly through my parents. Whether it was a family, child, or animal, our door was always open to anyone in need. I got to witness the beauty of community, but I also learned firsthand that it wouldn’t be easy. I knew it would mean saying yes to doing and seeing hard things and having the lines between my professional and personal lives blurred. What I didn’t anticipate was finding the type of community who wanted to do this with me, and for me, and around me.
This means that on hard days it feels like I’m climbing a mountain and every hard decision, every hard story I hear, every time I feel like I’m working in vain, feels like I’m trudging up this cold, rocky, isolating, mountain that God has asked me to climb. But, to look around and see other people climbing with me, means we get to pull and push and hold each other up and live the type of hard, messy lives God has asks us to live together.
We talk a lot at DC127 about how we likely won’t see the end of our work, we won’t see the full impact we’ve made and we won’t see a miraculous turn of events where every child gets the childhood they deserve. There isn’t a “top of the mountain” here. However, I don’t for a second underestimate how powerful it is that the people I am in community with aren’t deterred by impossible work. Impossible work with unknown results is what I watch my parents do in their communities for their neighbors, and I am so proud to live a community that allows me to live that out in DC. There’s just something about not being in it alone and feeling understood that make it possible to keep climbing.