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Belonging and Mental HealthSample

Belonging and Mental Health

DAY 1 OF 5

Connection and Belonging

All of us long for friendship. We long to be loved, cared for, and helped to realize that we matter. It must have been amazing for the disciples to hear Jesus’ words: “I no longer call you servants, now I call you friends.” When these words were spoken, something profound happened in their lives. Suddenly, their status in the world changed from being simply followers to being friends of Jesus. Friends of God. What a wonderful gift! And that gift is still available today. One way in which we can describe the Church is that we are a community of the friends of God. Of course, we don’t always live up to our God-given status as friends of Jesus. During the pandemic, when those of us in the UK were only allowed out for an hour's worth of exercise every day, I met one of my neighbours for the first time. Mary was in her eighties and rarely left her house. She said something to me that I will never forget: “They are talking about social distancing. It feels like people have been socially distancing from me for years! It has taken a pandemic for people to start to notice me and knock on my door to see if I’m okay.” I felt convicted. I claimed to be a friend of Jesus, but I wasn’t acting like one. Jesus always offered friendship to the marginalized, the outcast, the sinner, the lonely, the Marys of this world. To be a friend of Jesus requires that we—all of us together—reach out in Christ-like friendship to those who are ignored and forgotten by society. In a world that craves friendship and love, the question that must guide our lives is deceptively simple: What would Jesus do?

Reflection Question: Who are the people in your neighbourhood or community who are isolated or lonely?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for friendship. Help us to honour the status of being friends of Jesus and work with you to bring love, hope, and friendship to our neighbours. Amen.

(Written by John Swinton. A version of this devotional was first published in Every Day with Jesus.)


Day 2

About this Plan

Belonging and Mental Health

We all desire to feel at home within our spiritual communities. But what does it really mean to belong? And how can we help people who have been marginalized feel at home in the Church? In this Sanctuary devotional plan,...


We would like to thank Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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