The Gift of BelongingNew Every Morning | February 19, 2023
Belonging is instinctual for humanity, instilled at the beginning of time when God declared that it is not good for humans to be alone. We naturally find our places of belonging with people who become family in one way or another. As we find those welcoming places, we learn to settle into our own souls and come home to self, to God, and to living in community.
—Marsha Crockett, Sacred Conversation: Exploring the Seven Gifts of Spiritual Direction (Upper Room Books, 2022)
Where have you felt a sense of belonging? Join the conversation.
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
—Romans 15:7, NRSV
Prayer for the Week
Holy God, thank you for the gift of spiritual direction and for someone to accompany me on my journey of growing closer to you. Help me to remain open to suggestions my spiritual director offers and to pay attention to signs of your presence. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
This Lent, Roger Owens invites us to approach prayer and life differently through participating in Everyday Contemplative: A Lenten Online Experience. Together, we’ll explore a contemplative approach applicable to all spiritual practices—indeed, to life itself. Register here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
I felt a sense that of belonging today in church – I tried to sit quietly on the side in the back because I really wanted to focus on the worship and not be distracted by the people around me- however several old friends/parishioners sought me out which was nice and I felt a sense of belonging. I felt that also when I had breakfast with a friend at a local diner- many of the staff know me because we have gone there as a family for years – they always ask about the kids. Despite these occurrences belonging in the church and the community I often feel like I need a change and I have been struggling with changing churches because I have too many memories there and I don’t engage and participate like I would like to- I often feel like I avoid the painful reminders and connections while at the same time I feel like I do belong there… you can see I’m struggling.
Prayers for many struggling here – Ally prayers for you and your husband- it has been very challenging for you both. Prayers also for Julie and your challenges. You both are in the trenches of caretaking – God bless you. Prayers for Robert as you continue to love and support your son despite your differences. Prayers for Gail as she has come through challenging circumstances and shares her faith here. Prayers for Jill as she enjoys some good time away from her dedication to her teaching. prayers for all who come here today- some searching for a place to belong- God loves us all. We belong to Him.
There are places where I have felt home. They start with the homes I grew up in, my parents, I felt at home with my wife’s family, my long time Korean friend, and in many churches.
Yes, I echo Lou’s prayers for peace, love, mercy, and hope for caregivers, Julie, Ally, Jill, April, and Lou. As followers of Christ we are all caregivers, some tasks are easier than others. God sees us through every situation.
The Spirit was with us today enabling worship with our guest worship team from Teen-Adult Challenge. Their testimony to the work, power, love of God in their and family, friends lives was
encouraging. We were glad to support them. Thank You, Lord!
May persistent patience, time to themselves, and self love be theirs.