Community. This topic keeps coming up in my life. It comes up in my Theology class. It comes up in my conversations with friends. It comes up in sermons at church. It just keeps on popping up and in my experience, if something keeps on popping up, God is nudging me to explore the ins and outs of it.
Community seems to be something that most people are lacking. Even in the church and family communities, people are too busy to make connections. We work side by side; we share smiles; we share pleasantries. We rarely go deeper and show who we are. We rarely allow ourselves to open up. Life has taught us that people are untrustworthy. We have to protect ourselves from being hurt. People fail us time and time again and walls are built higher and higher each time. This breaks down the opportunity for true community.
The book of Acts depicts a true community:
So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about
three thousand people were added. They were devoting themselves to
the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and
to prayer. Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and
miraculous signs came about by the apostles. All who believed were
together and held everything in common, and they began selling their
property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as
anyone had need. Every day they continued to gather together by
common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house,
sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, praising God and
having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their
number every day those who were being saved.
Today's life isn't set up for this type of community. However, community is still achievable. If people can put themselves out there; not be easily offended; be gracious, kind and giving; and follow the Lord's example, community is achievable.
A friend recently challenged me by saying "now the question becomes are you to search for it [community] or be the facilitator?" It is *hard* for me to be a facilitator. It goes against my introverted core to put myself on the line even by simply inviting someone to dinner. But I am going to take steps to seek opportunities to facilitate it more and see what comes of it...