How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? (1 Thess. 3:9)

Music gives shape to many of my memories, whether I was warming up for a soccer game, coming to Christ in church, or getting married. Even years later, I can hear a song I danced to at my wedding, and it brings me back to that day—makes me feel the beauty of life more fully. These songs are like signs that point back to something much larger, much more important, than themselves.

In the same way, the joy of the Christian church—that is, a community of sacrifice and self-giving love—points back to the original perfect community: the Trinity. When we participate in loving and supportive friendship—in church, in marriage, or even with strangers—we also act as signs pointing to Someone much larger, much more important, than ourselves.

The beauty of this sort of community is that God sustains it. The New Testament tells us that the church is the body of Christ, and the Spirit is present in a special way with Christians gathered together. We don’t have to put pressure on ourselves always to be perfect. Sometimes I’m not as polite as I could be, or as kind and supportive. But just by being there, by committing to Christian community, the body of Christ is made manifest, and the Holy Spirit attends the meeting.

Choose to participate in Christian community, even when you don’t feel like it.

Lindsey Priest is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate and lives in Arkansas with her husband and two sons. She likes to read to the kids, play video games with her husband, and refurbish furniture.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.