By Jessie Dyck
The Christmas tree stands tall (almost too tall) and the halls are decked. The ice rink is almost ready and the tube slide is prepped. But without the people, it does not feel like Christmas. It isn’t really that big of a problem, however. Camp life seems to have the sense of community all year round, instead of a huge helping in the month of December.
In the past months, God persistently challenged me to build community, like the community that the early church had. When I read in Acts,
it seemed as they were always together, and most of the time it was to pray together. This was something that was missing in my life, and it was not happening enough in camp life either. So now, a few of us go to the chapel to pray together. It is quite an incredible experience, and I think it is something that God created for a reason. The people I pray with regularly I might not have known for a long amount of time, but I certainly feel they are my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the reason God was pushing me to find community. This is the reason why praying together is important.
Allan and Melissa just got back from a camp conference in the states somewhere and were gone for a week without the kids. To make it possible for them to go, Helyn and I offered to babysit in shifts. This was a great learning curve for me, as I had no experience in the area of humans depending on me for their survival. It was really cool to watch from my end the couples watching out for me and the kids, because it somehow opened a door that I had no access to before. They were even more willing to help than they already are because they could relate to me. I don’t think I could have watched the kids without the help of a community. Being a single parent is exhausting.
Community is never perfect, and sometimes it is frustrating. I am not settling for less, because I know there is something I personally can do to make it better. There is endless opportunities to reach out into my small community family and make them feel loved. It isn’t even my own love that I show, so how can I even not bother to share what Jesus gives me to give to others, something that God himself lavishes on me? Even as I write this I feel squirmy, knowing that people will be watching me to see if I actually follow through.
I think the ultimate community will be the Kingdom. At this time of year, community seems to be a popular idea. Everyone seems to be in the “Christmas spirit”, or are at least attempting to be. When people get frustrated with the little things of extremely long lines and crowded shopping malls, the point of Christmas is missed. Christ’s birth was not just to give gifts to each other, but instead to love each other. Basically, Jesus wants us to live out the Kingdom here on earth, and avoid being nasty to our brothers and sisters in Christ at all costs. How can someone go to find a gift and buy it out of love for one person, but treat everyone else that had something to do with that gift horribly? If there is not love in the whole event of buying that one gift, is it really out of love?
The Kingdom is not a topic that I am an expert on, in fact I am just starting to learn about it. This is why I am super pumped that Red Rocks summer theme is “the Kingdom”! I am constantly praying for more wisdom and understanding, especially in this area. I have no doubt that God is going to work miracles in summer, just as he is working now. Please continue to pray for camp, alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Praying for Kingdom eyes,