I have always loved a good nap. I never thought much about it until a couple years ago when naps didn’t seem to cure my daily over-tiredness. I finally went to see my doctor and ended up at a sleep clinic for a variety of tests and then getting diagnosed with narcolepsy. As someone who doesn’t like to slow down in life, it took me awhile to come to terms with this diagnosis. Mostly because I knew that part of the treatment is to slow down and take time to rest, so that I can be my healthiest self and this is really hard for me. I’ll be honest, I don’t really like talking about this too much. But when I read the passage for this week from 2 Corinthians, Paul writes, “So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.”
Reading those words made me stop and start to think about the things in life that cause me to almost lose heart. And I immediately thought of the struggles and afflictions that are very real to me, but not always visible to others. Those moments in life when an unexpected outcome that I cannot control causes me to ask “Why did this happen?” and “How do I go on from here?” We all struggle with something and God’s promises of renewal and hope are especially for those moments.
We can’t do it alone
Paul suffered from various afflictions in his life and he writes about them in his letters. And when he wrote to the community of Corinth, he acknowledges that they too were facing hardships. And he reminds them to do 2 things: turn to God who cares for us and to keep caring for one another. It is pretty simple really. As Christians, we acknowledge that we cannot do it on our own. Even when the world says we should only depend on ourselves and focus on our own needs. We continue to say that we need God and we need each other. We even say it when we profess the creeds, the statements of belief, in worship.
The third part of the Apostles Creed says, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints…” The catholic church talked about here is really the universal church. And the communion of saints means all believers of Christ. Communion points right to community. We are brought together as one Body of Christ sharing the same spirit and the same faith as the one who saves us. When we feel like we are wasting away, God promises to renew us over and over again. When we feel like we might lose heart, Jesus’s life and death for us says we don’t have to lose heart because the faith and strength of Jesus Christ is in us.
Sharing Christ’s love by showing up
We are loved and cared for in every affliction we face in this life. And living faithfully together in community as believers is a constant reminder of the love, forgiveness and care from God. When we show up for each other in our afflictions, we are sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
May you be renewed with strength and courage day by day because of the love and faith of Jesus Christ and the love and faith of the communion of saints. Amen.
This post is part two of a six part series titled “Strong and Courageous: Living by Faith”