We Are Better Together

We Are Better Together

Friends, I invite you to share your comments on these Afterthoughts at the bottom of this web page. I would love hear what you think! brad+

Pick any story of struggle and you will find that the best way out is through community.

In June of 2018, a junior soccer team from Thailand got stuck in the Tham Luang cave system when an early monsoon rain hit, trapping them in the caves.

The team of boys, age 11 to 18, and their coach, who was 25, found high ground in the cave system to keep from drowning in the ensuing floods. Two experienced divers, John Volanthen and Rick Stanton, navigated the underwater cave system and found the group some 2.5 miles in. After finding them, they developed a plan and trained other divers how to navigate the caves. They then formulated a plan to rescue the team before the next monsoon came and flooded them out. At the time of the rescue, there were around 10,000 people involved. A day before the next storm was due, the team was safely rescued.

What a community!

It was gathered for a purpose,

But what a community.

There were over 100 divers,

2000 military personnel,

And scores of others making sure that people were fed,

The water was being pumped out of the cave complex

And every precaution was being taken.

It was amazing.

There are many documentaries about this,

It is worth checking out.

But again,

What a community.

Community is powerful.

I mentioned this on Sunday.

The readings were about waiting and the patience needed to do so.

And the illustrations from the Gospel reading gave us this insight about waiting:

  • Through the apocalyptic imagery, we know that things will get bad.
  • Through the illustration of the fig tree we know that there will signs that will clue us in.
  • Through the illustration of the homeowner leaving town and giving his servants the responsibility that there minding the Master’s house while He is away is what we are to be about.

A key part of all of these things is community.

We are Better Together

I quoted pastor Timothy L. Adkins-Jones who had this to say about the “how” of remaining alert and waiting,

The answer is in community. We can remain alert when we are in community. As this Advent begins, may we stress the importance of preparing in community, of watching in community, and of discerning in community as well. Because while I may be confused individually as to whether we can know the signs or whether we just have to be in constant alert, when we live in community, we can figure out how to live in that tension and make our way together through the confusion.”

Lone Rangers get trampled.

It’s lonely going about things that way.

You relying on yourself.

But God calls us to community.

Not the solo mission.


For years, God’s children waited in community for the Messiah.

They reminded one another of God’s promises.

And God’s commands.

For years, the early Church struggled under the oppression of the culture.

They reminded one another of what Jesus said,

“I have said this to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution, but take courage: I have conquered the world!”   

John 16:33

And what they were to be about,

 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Community can protect us.

Community can teach us.

Community can comfort us.

It can cause us to pause and think about life.

It can inspire us to change.

It can embrace us when we need it the most.

May we continue to learn to be community together better.