“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:15)

         When the hillside turned dark after the angels departed, the shepherd decided to go together to see the child they were told about.  How long did it take them to reach the stable, and what did they talk about along the way?  Perhaps they were so overwhelmed that they talked excitedly about what would happen next.  Or perhaps they walked in stunned silence on their way to Bethlehem.  The scripture does not tell us.  All they said to one another was, “let us go.” They would go together.

         In Jesus, we are called into a community of faith. In our Christian journey, we walk with one another.  While we each have an individual relationship with God, God calls us to share our lives with other Jesus followers.  Our faith is a joint adventure where we walk together as Jesus’ disciples.  The apostle Paul would write in his letter to the church at Rome: “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” (Romans 12:5) We belong to one another.

         Discernment rarely takes place in isolation.  Together we encourage, support, challenge, and love one another as we seek to discover God’s will.  As the church, we are one body, and thus we seek to discern God’s will through unity and mutual affection.  As Paul states, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) As the song says, “We all get by with a little help from our friends.  We are in this together as the church.  Through the ups and downs of community life, we find God’s strength in one another.  We discover God’s will together.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for those who journey with me as my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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