Serving those who are responding to God’s call to love.

Community… not just a Christmas thing

The word “community” has been a buzz word for awhile now. I think probably because there has been a lack of it in our world lately. It seems we are all recognizing that, and quickly agreeing that it’s not something we want to see disappear. The word community comes from the Latin word, communis, meaning “common.” Today, while there are several definitions, the one that gives the best meaning for our present word is this: “a feeling of fellowship wit others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” I think for most of us, the word brings up memories of an old neighborhood, a community center, a YMCA or a local school, park, organization or church we were a part of as kids. The word “community” stirs up for most of us, a feeling of belonging, connectedness and good will. So it’s not surprising that we want to preserve it.

We were made for relationship. God built us this way. Paul talks about it in detail throughout the New Testament, Psalms declares it’s importance and the stories in the Old Testament give example of it. We long for it because we were made for it. Take a look at a few verses I pulled up to engage your He gives us directions. The following are some references from the Bible that model this.

Scripture reminds us:

  • To bear with one another and forgive, Galatians 6:2, Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:2-6
  • To confess our sins to one another, James 5:16
  • To love on another, Matthew 22:37-40, Romans 12:9-21, Proverbs 17:17
  • It says we are one body, Romans 12:5,
  • We are to share and be generous, Acts 2:44-47, Leviticus 19:9-18
  • We are to encourage and support one another, Hebrews 10:24-25, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Romans 1:11-12
  • There is to be no division in the body, 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
  • That we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, 1 Peter 2:9-10
  • We are a city on the hill, Matthew 5:13-16
  • We are to care for one another, Philippians 2:3-16, Zechariah 7:9-10
  • To show hospitality and to serve one another, 1 Peter 4:8-11
  • To sharpen each other, Proverbs 27:17

 

If you took a minute to pull your Bible out, chances are your feeling kinda happy right now, because these verses are loaded with community-like ideas. They make us feel like we are committed to something, like there is a plan and hope! Have you ever noticed how when something awful happens, everyone tends to band together, try and smile more and hold doors open for each other? I’ve even noticed on social media, that many of my friends, after the election massacre and division we had, were trying really hard to post kind things, things that brought unity and not division.

I also wonder if you noticed how quickly everyone is to embrace Christmas this year? Sam and I were drawing at Starbucks the other day and a young man working there made the comment about how he wished Christmas came earlier and would last longer. He noted that it was nice to have his family around and that everyone had been extra nice since the holiday coffees and decorations had gone up. Hmmmmm…why do you suppose this is?

I think that when truth presents itself, it’s hard to ignore it. I also think that God made us to be in community with one another and most importantly, with HIM! Can we make the deduction that if we draw nearer to the Lord and not only be hearers of His word, but doers, that we would see a significant change in the connectedness of our country and world? Can we begin to make every effort to draw near to Him, the one who gave us life and these beautiful hearts, AND draw near to each other and live out the things we read in the scripture above? His word is sacred. It is truth for those of us that have faith and believe it. Let’s start RIGHT NOW, leaning into community. Identify who your community is or could be and start building it. Start with love as the base and then upward and onward from there.

Blessings all,

Lee

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