The Sweetness and Rarity of True Community
Open Your Bible
BY She Reads Truth
Scripture Reading: Psalm 133
The Christian life is a climb—a journey of constant growth, sacrifice, and trusting God for what we cannot see. As Eugene Peterson said, we are pilgrims, but we are also disciples—always moving and always learning. The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. In this 3-week reading plan, we are digging into these traveling songs with the help of short summary essays and thoughtful, reflective questions for each psalm. Take your pack on your shoulder and walk with us as we pursue God together.
Psalm 133 (CSB)
LIVING IN HARMONY
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in harmony!
2 It is like fine oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down Aaron’s beard
onto his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon
falling on the mountains of Zion.
For there the LORD has appointed the blessing —
The pilgrim-disciple celebrates how good it is when her brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, meaning it is rich and pleasurable.
There are two kinds of pleasure: the kind we seek only for ourselves and the kind we seek as a part of belonging to a community. This second kind requires vulnerability and intimacy, trust and the laying down of self. Finding unity with others takes work as well as risk. It is something we celebrate because it is both rare and good.
1. Is there someone from your past or present with whom you need to pursue reconciliation—someone you need to move toward in love? In what ways do you “behold how unpleasant it is” to dwell in disunity?
2. What are some of the best ways you can actively pursue Christian community? Why is it important to cultivate spiritual friendships?
3. This psalm describes our unity with one another as something that carries over into eternity. How does regarding our spiritual friendships as eternal relationships help us love each other? Forgive each other? Respect each other?
90 thoughts on "The Sweetness and Rarity of True Community"
This passage was exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m currently working up the courage to attend a new church and it’s both exciting and terrifying. Socially, I experience some anxiety so being “the new girl” in any situation is always a profound personal barrier. But I need to be strong for my husband and son. I need to put on a brave face and proceed forward, knowing that God is with me every step of the way. I crave a spiritual community, deeply. My heart aches for that connection— that sense of belonging. I desire to be a part of something greater. Lord, help me take the first step.
I too love the SRT community! I have been so blessed by these studies – they have become my main source of spiritual food and strengthening over the past few years. I rarely share, but I always read the comments and find such encouragement in them! I am a few days behind in the study, plus I spent two days in this one, because I found I needed to hear what was being said here. I am going through a difficult season in my life and I find myself identifying with so many – and weeping because I realize how I miss having that community in my life. We have been part of the same church body for 40 years – our whole married life. We raised our children here – we enjoyed such wonderful community here. My husband and I were both heavily involved in the church and it was good. But slowly over the past few years, we have found ourselves in disagreement with the teaching of the leadership and I realize I am feeling ….. adrift and very lonely. I am also going through a season of grief – I lost my best friend and then my sister to cancer within 6 weeks of each other. My best friend and I shared a long history – she knew me better than anyone and we talked almost daily. I grieve her loss deeply. So…. this study on community hits home! I realize how important it is to seek out and nurture those relationships. I also realize that those dry seasons have their value – they force me to dig deeper and to push through. I am so grateful for this community – for the support and encouragement I am finding here! Thank you!
Just a thought, but maybe you can go back to that church and those friends but not rush into college. I had to wait many years to find a group of Christian friends and I know what a gift that can be and impossible to replace. Hope it works out and praying that God will give you wisdom to figure it out. ❤️
One thing my pastor said the other day that really touched me was. “The worst thing in the world is not that you feel lonely” but to be “surrounded by a group of people that make you feel lonely”
There have been times that I have felt that way even within my church community and with people that love me. I don’t know if it’s an insecurity that I struggle with or with fake assumptions I make up in my head but I’m praying that God reveals to me what it is. I long to have a community where I don’t have to feel that way.
It could be imposter syndrome, its a condition where your brain causes you to doubt your placement in work, or social life. You can give yourself a talk before you enter a social gathering such as “this is where I need to be” or “I am a part of Gods family.” A short phrase just for you. You are a part of God’s family, and you matter!
Melody, I just read this devo today and saw your comment and can empathize with you. A lot of times I feel the same way in our church community and I want you to hear it’s not just you that feels that way. I have struggled with years of loneliness and feeling like an outsider, and honestly still feel that way a lot. My encouragement to you is to just keep fighting to be yourself and pray for God to send you friends you can truly connect with. He has been faithful to send me two friends who I feel like I can connect with and share deep things with, and that has been so encouraging and refreshing to me!
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