Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:3-4
Recently I watched Lin Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights,” a film that showcases a vibrant Latino community in New York City. This story captivated me, and my soul was saturated with rhythms and passions that come from the Latino culture. The film’s message struck me profoundly – that being Latino is a community effort. Identity and purpose come from being Latino. Individuals experience their own personal journeys, joys and griefs, their cultural family causes them to lift their eyes, voices and hearts to something that is bigger and even more defining than themselves.
Similarly, have you ever experienced the collective passion and identity in snow culture? In February 2020, I was with a crew of SFCers riding Mammoth Mountain. We explored and shared an experience that engaged all of our senses. Fresh air in our lungs, sun kissing our faces, snow crunching underfoot, cheers as tricks were attempted. Audible joy echoed down the mountain as our group rode together. Being an amateur rider didn’t matter, I was a part of a moment that made me feel a part of something bigger than myself. In that moment we were a group of people, united in passion and purpose.
Do we see our faith as being bigger than ourselves?
When life gets us down or we experience a hard season, we are often tempted to pull away from church. But God created our faith community for these moments. We see in the Psalms over and over that there is something special about a group of believers who collectively can praise the Lord when a person is struggling amongst them; who together raise their voices and timbrels in prayer, petition and praise when the grieving have nothing to give. A faithful family who can point someone to their true identity when their earthy identity has let them down.
What if in seasons of personal grief and pain, we stepped into our faith community; and that same community helped us see the immeasurable nature of our Creator? Not to downplay our hurts and disappointments, but to help us to see that as heirs in a heavenly kingdom, we are a part of something so much bigger than the moment we are in.
What would our SFC family look like if our praise for the Lord was bigger than ourselves? What if as individuals we could experience our own personal journeys, joys and griefs, but with our SFC family, we collectively lift our eyes, voices and hearts to The One that is bigger and even more defining than ourselves.
- What does praising God look like in your faith community? What part of yourself do you contribute?
- How can our SFC community create a space that embraces the broken hearted and grieving, and points them to their identity in Christ?
- What scripture speaks of God’s character and fills you with an “inexpressible and glorious joy”? (1 Peter 1:8)
By Anna Schrafft | Sydney, Australia