Community can mean different things to different people. Do you live in a metaphorical gated community, where those who don’t think like you or look like you are locked out? Or is your faith vision broader – one that allows you to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)?
I believe the “one another” Paul is referring to in this verse, is the manifestation of a preceding verse in Galatians 5:14, that says, “The whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
There are obvious and distinct differences in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, however, those differences do not preclude us from being neighbors in a world created by God.
Love Always Wins
This was made clear to me in recent days, as people from all different faiths, helped bear the burden of those victimized by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting – neighbors bearing the burden of neighbors, out of love for … one another.
Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, said it well with these words:
“There’s something about being in community with each other; that I can hold you up when you can’t hold yourself up, and you can hold me when I can’t.“
The Apostle Paul taught that out of faith, hope, and love, the greatest gift was love – not a sentimental love, but a self-less love – like that shown in Pittsburgh.