After this we [Paul and his companions] packed our things and left for Jerusalem. Some believers from Caesarea accompanied us, and they took us to the home of Mnason, a man originally from Cyprus and one of the early believers. When we arrived, the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem welcomed us warmly.
— Acts 21:15-17 NLT
So many people in our world feel alone today. Despite all the social media connections, I am amazed at the number of people who tell me they feel all alone in the world. God did not make us as solitary, lonely creatures separated from relationships. He made us with a need for fellowship with him and other people.* Fellowship is essential. Encouragement from some other living human being is vital for all of us. Even the most introverted people occasionally long for someone whom they know well and can trust and who knows them well and accepts them as they are. This is what "church" is supposed to be. We are a "one another" people — folks who live to love God, each other, and our neighbors. The walk to Jerusalem from Caesarea isn't quick or easy, yet Paul did not have to walk it alone. He had people who accompanied him, places offered to him for lodging, and folks waiting in Jerusalem who welcomed him warmly. Let's make sure our congregations are real "church" like we see demonstrated in today's verses!
O, Father, I need this kind of fellowship. I know others who desperately need this kind of love, acceptance, friendship, and encouragement. Use me, dear Father, to be one of your children who shares your love with my brothers and sisters as generously as you have shared your love with me. In Jesus' name and for his people, I ask for help with this grace. Amen.