Biblical community—lessons for today

BIBLICAL COMMUNITY AT ITS BEST is people supporting each other under the most challenging of circumstances, doing together what they couldn't accomplish alone. This example from recent times has elements that communities in Scripture learned: support, endurance, patience, courage.

When Lieutenant Commander Claude Clower's F-4 Phantom was shot down during a bombing raid over North Vietnam in 1967, the Navy fighter pilot was captured and held over five years as a prisoner of war (POW). Clower shared how he and his fellow American prisoners survived: "The North Vietnamese allowed the prisoners to have a Bible for one hour on Christmas and Easter to celebrate the holidays. In doing this, though, they unwittingly gave the POW's access to parts of the Bible throughout the rest of the year. During the hour they had it, the prisoners would all line up two by two, and each pair would together memorize a verse by repeating it again and again. As soon as it was firmly set in their memories, they would return for another verse and keep this up until the book was taken away. After their Bible was taken, the prisoners used their memories and ink made of cigarette ash to copy the 50 or so memorized verses on toilet paper. To keep their improvised Bible safe, the paper was rolled up and stuffed into a hollowed-out bar of soap" (www.usscoralsea. net/pages/actions.php).

While we may never encounter anything as hostile, our faith, family, business, and school communities demand similar love and courage.

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Bible-based community in church
November 15, 2010

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