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40th newsletter, "Belonging"

It is January 1, 2023. We are at Schiphol Airport. "We" is a group of travel companions. We already know each other, but will get to know each other much better in the coming weeks. Together, we will be on our way to Cambodia. A prayer, a last greeting - Cambodia here-we-come!

We had prepared for the trip, but at the same time we didn't know what to expect. I knew the country, but most of the others did not. What happens in such a group I felt best when we were back at Schiphol Airport 2,5 weeks later. Instead of a group of individuals, we were now 1 group, a whole.

And how cool is that to experience. Call it 'tribe,' call it family, it is the place where you say and feel - here I matter, here I am accepted, here I feel at home. A place of belonging. Everyone needs such a place.

Perhaps "something" or someone immediately comes to your mind when you think of belonging. Beautiful is that! And yet, even for many people, it is different. Many people are lonely, they don't feel connected, they don't feel at home. Poverty takes many forms, but this is certainly one of them.

From the very beginning the church has been known as a place of belonging, a place where people are allowed to be. Where there is care and love - after all, that's what Jesus taught the disciples. How is that at your church? How is it in your life? Do you know that place of belonging and do you create that place for others?

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