Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Community Matters

At least it should. It does for us in a huge way. Although I don't think most people know what is meant when you talk about community, especially in the Christian context. Community has become a bit of a buzzword in a lot of churches. Which is good because we are called as believers to be apart of and to live in community (Gen. 2:18, Eph. 2:19, 1 Jn. 1:7). The problem is very few people take the time to define what they mean by community. When I say the word community I mean having a group of friends with whom you do all of life. The people who know what trials you are facing, what joys you have experienced. They are the people who have permission to point out things wrong in your life. They are the people who have the courage and the love for you to openly confront sin, especially sin you may be blind too.
A lot of people read that and think that does not sound appealing. Having people who are so in your business that they know everything about your life sounds miserable. I would contend that the reason people feel this way is because they don't have a true grasp of the gospel. In the death and resurrection of Christ, which is the central content of the gospel, we see pride torn down and thrown aside. We see the need to earn our salvation nailed to a cross so we do not have to bear that unliftable burden. It is hard for us to draw close to people because we are afraid of what they will think when they really get to know us. This is what the gospel destroys. Through the cross of Christ you are freed from the weight of having to impress people. You do not have to out work other Christians in the game of holiness. The ground around the cross is completely level. No one gets to lean against the cross because they are more deserving of the love of God than someone else. When we begin to truly grasp the gospel then we will truly be drawn into community.
Community matters for us. 2011 was a very difficult year. Between the normal busyness of work, school and family we walked through 2 miscarriages in 5 months. I know God would have helped us through those difficulties if we were not involved in community. But the grace of God in our life placed great friends around us so they could comfort us and encourage us and bring us dinner and cry with us and speak words of truth into our lives. So thank you Adams, Askins, Haddoxes and Morgans for being apart of our lives. We love doing life with you and we are so thankful for all God is teaching us through our community.

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