We can encounter Go no matter who we are, what we are doing, or where we might be - Rev. Chris KirwanOur communities and connections can change for the better once God becomes involved.

I have witnessed someone who was 93 years old sing to a child not older than 6 and put a smile on their face. Then saw that same child turn right back around and put a smile on the wise person’s face through some remark, gesture or silly face of their own. I have been present for a party where nobody was turned away and people of all ethnic, socioeconomic and historical backgrounds were present. I have experienced true love and grace when people have been willing to drop everything they are doing to help me or someone else.

All of these instances occurred under the umbrella and roof of God.

To me, these are strong earmarks of a genuine community and authentic connection. One might even say for some people, these instances felt like their sanctuary; their own close, intimate and loving space where they experienced God through the presence and actions of others.

The question we must ask, then, is: “Where is your sanctuary?” Where do you find that you are plugged in, enriched, fulfilled and completed the most? What places (or people) give you the motivation to get up each and every day and live life to the fullest? Is it when you attend and are a part of a church? Is it when you have shared passions and enthusiasms with someone else or another group of people?

Either way, what comes with authentic communities is a message that we are in this together no matter what. We can get through the ups and downs together, the successes and failures, the moments of joy and the moments of conflict and come to one another and still utter the words: I love you.

I have been able to find community and feel connections in some of the unlikeliest of places and in the most unexpected ways. We have to remember that communities are often what you make of them. It does take some effort and initiative to sustain and maintain them. This is not something we could have delivered to our door with a phone call or online order through Amazon Prime.

Communities require time, understanding and sometimes even money. What then, does this say about our perspective in life? It means that in most (of course not all) but most situations and scenarios we should walk with an open mind.

We can encounter God no matter who we are, what we are doing, or where we might be. And that’s worth celebrating.