Community for Others

Psalm 118:19–29; Deuteronomy 16:1–8; Philippians 2:1–11 (read online ⧉)

The brief summary of Passover reminds the Israelites of how, as a community, they are to celebrate it. When Passover was established (Exodus 12) there was a strong community aspect to it insofar as sharing the sacrificial lamb. If a family was too small, they were to share with other households. Not partaking wasn’t an option. Sharing the lamb (and wasting less) was a communal support for Passover. Passover was not a single observer, but a community that observed.

The kind of community that shared a lamb (looking out for one another for the shared observation) is the kind of community that loves one another and is of (at least in this) one mind. The kind of community where a lamb would be shared would be the kind of community where one would not feel superior to others, but treat others in kindness and compassion, looking out for their interests.

This looking out for the interests of others is not the way of the world. Someone willing to share their lamb with another was sacrificial, and probably (sadly) was not done often, except in those very small communities where they shared the same poor circumstances.

Paul encourages Christians to be like Jesus insofar as looking for the welfare of others, knowing that Jesus looked to other’s welfare while some hated him, some ignored him, some didn’t know they needed him.

1. How does this kind of community (sacrificing self for others) work when they disagree with each other?

2. It is important to understand that it is the Holy Spirit in us that empowers us. Knowing that to be the case, how can you look to the interests of others?

3. What are a number of ways that can look when dealing with normal life and routines, and in extreme situations such as natural disasters and pandemics?