The early Christian community drew people irresistibly because it offered a rich alternative. New followers were enveloped into a family of faith that offered care and support. Early Christianity grew because people prayed together, read the Word together, and looked after one another’s basic needs for food or shelter. Historians tell us that Christians nursed each other through the plagues of fatal illness that rampaged through the densely populated, unsanitary Roman cities, while other groups abandoned the ill to their death. In its origins, if not now, the Christian community offered relationship, care, and survival in harsh times.
—Dee Dee Risher, The Soulmaking Room (Upper Room Books, 2016)
When has the family of faith offered you relationship and care in harsh times? Join the conversation.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
—Hebrews 13:16 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Creator God, I give this day over to you and to the mystery of faith. I commit space and time in this very day for soul work.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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