As Christians, we belong to God and to one another. In the second “Mark of Love” we are called to help nurture God’s love within one another. As Br. David Vryhof explains in this introduction to the third week of the series, community is a necessity of Christian life because we are people of love who are called to encourage one another in this new life.
Transcript: In our baptisms, we are “sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever.” We belong to God. And we belong to God not only as individuals but as a collective body. Christianity is a communal religion. We are joined in baptism to other believers in the Body of Christ. We belong to one another as well. And in this Body, we have the function of supporting and helping one another, nurturing God’s life within each individual member.
So this week we’ll be focusing on the Second Mark of Love, or the Second Mark of Mission, which is “to teach, to baptize, and to nurture new believers.” And in a sense, it’s not just new believers, but all of us believers, who are stepping into this new way of life and who need teaching and encouragement along the way.
The life of God within us is a life to be learned, and to nurture, and to grow. We learn from one another a different way of living in the world. We help one another understand the different values of life in the Kingdom. We help one another embrace Jesus’ love and life within us and to participate with one another’s support and encouragement in the mission of God in the world.
So community is never an option for a Christian, or just an alternative that we can choose or not choose. It’s a necessity for Christian life. And it is an important part of the church’s witness and work in the world to nurture, and to teach, and to grow believers. This has been true from the very beginning. Jesus gathered around him a community of disciples and these disciples formed communities of early believers who lived out the message in the world, and who demonstrated the life of God, and the ways of the Kingdom, in the way that they related to one another, in the way that they treated one another and treated others, in the way that they expressed their love for God and for one another. We are a people of love who have been born from love and are called to live in love. And to live in love means to live in unity and peace with one another.
And so in this Second Mark of Mission, we encourage one another in this new life. We build up one another. We help one another to move deeper into the reality of living in God’s Kingdom. We are looking forward to sharing with you some of our ideas and to encourage you to think and meditate on your own participation in the collective life of God’s people, the Church.
– Br. David Vryhof
This activity invites you to explore the Baptismal Covenant in prayer and reflection during your day and throughout the week. Each morning, write a short prayer based on that day’s question from the Baptismal Covenant. Each evening, reflect on how you are living into this aspect of your faith.