“[Titus] told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.” 2 Corinthians 7:7
We always enjoy the familiarity of home and when we go on trips we’re glad to be back, but we feel the security that comes with being somewhere familiar again. It isn’t the physical location so much as it was the people and the belonging that we appreciate when we return. Family and friends want to know how we are and what we experienced while being away.
Remember when we all went our separate ways almost every day. For now that has changed. Community isn’t about being in the same place with the same people all the time. But it is about having a place to belong so that no matter where we go, we always have a place to return to — a place where we are known, supported, and loved. In a place of community, we can share where we have been and what we have done, and we can rest from the difficulties of life. For now we share community with Zoom, YouTube and other social media sources. It’s still good to see and hear from one another and know how everyone is handling life. And, it is here that Jesus remains to comfort, guide, and love us.
The apostle Paul was often on the road and facing difficulties at every turn. Receiving the gift of Titus’s presence was deeply encouraging to him. But even more encouraging were the messages that Titus delivered from people who cared deeply for Paul and were concerned for his well-being. The reminders of a supportive and caring community brought on feelings of great joy. That’s the kind of joy we all need from a community that we can call home.
Father, help us experience community as home — a place to belong and to rest and be safe. Provide that for us, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.