Living in Harmony

Living in Harmony
Mother and son praying at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem

John 3:31-36

Community is defined as a social, religious, occupational or other group sharing common characteristics or interests perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists. Surely the people at the time of the birth of Jesus were a community. Many shared similar occupations as well as birthplaces and religious beliefs. They also shared living under the rule of Caesar Augustus. Since they lived under the rule of a foreign regime, they were in many respects separate and distinct. What they shared as a community was a way of life that brought them together to provide safety and security from the Romans.

While Mary was pregnant, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that there would be a census of all the Roman world. Joseph, the man of the household (the one who mattered in those times) was of the line of David and had to return to Bethlehem. He took Mary with him and while they were traveling the time came for her to give birth. Think about it… while they were in the place of Joseph’s people, they were not among those with whom they shared their everyday lives.

While there was great joy at the birth of Jesus, he was not welcomed by everyone. There were many who perceived him to be a threat to their way of life. Jesus, the son of God, came in love and was given all of the things of God to share with the people so that all who believe may have eternal life. Even though the people of the time had Jesus in their midst, they didn’t easily believe what he was telling them.

What about us? How do we live in community with one another today? Do people see the love of Jesus in us? As believers, are we using what Jesus taught about how to live together in harmony as God intends? How can we be more like Jesus in today’s world?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we fall short of the love that you gave so freely through your son Jesus. We do not love one another as you would have us love. Help us to see each other as children of your kingdom as we live together. Help us to be like Jesus, loving and caring for one another. Amen.

Denise Snyder is President Northeastern Jurisdiction United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 12/17/2016 11:00:00 PM

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Each teen residing in the Near Northside neighborhood need to hear words of hope, love, and affirmation; mentors remind these youth who are often considered “the least of us” that they are, indeed, precious in God’s sight and created in Christ’s image. -Wesley Community Center, Houston, Texas.
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